Agriculture and Archaeology

So we are really into archaeology, and we are thrilled that a kite can be a really useful tool for discovering and monitoring of archaeological sites. Aerial archaeology has been a thing for a couple of years now, and we gladly jumped aboard the hype train – uncovering a Roman villa, documenting a prehistoric landscape, and observing the first road through the Marshes.

Now we made a step further: we acquired a modified action camera specially designed for agriculutre – the AgroCam Geo NDVI.

A meadow and a freshly plowed field in NIR-G-B

This near-infrared – green – blue multispectral camera detects small variation in plant growth, and enables simple computation of the NDVI – normalized difference vegetation index. And this is really useful in archaeology, since grasses and crops grow poorly above a bured wall, and much better above a buried ditch.

So we went to test the AgroCam on a kite above a potential archaeological site Otok in the middle of Ljubljana Marshes, and we found …

NDVI gradient map of a stacked NIR-G-B panorama of the potential archaeological slite Otok near Matena, Slovenia

… nothing.

There are many reasons for that – maybe the remains are buried too deep, maybe the soil is too dense for plants to feel the differences, or maybe there is really nothing there – so we werent really disappointed.

What’s more important, we had fun! We flew two kites and caught one on a near-infrared shot (see the hexagon by the road – it’s our venerable blue Rokkaku!) …

… and we did a NIR selfie! 🙂

And the tumbling AgroCam caught the carrier kite in the sky. The clouds were uniform for a naked eye, but very dramatic in near infrared!

To wrap up this KAP archaeological session – many things were learned, fun havse been had, and there are many sites just waiting for our kites to soar above them!

Kite aerial photos shot with AgroCam Geo NDVI on a dot Rokkaku kite.

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