LiDAR uses laser survey equipment mounted in an aeroplane to record the surface of the land below in three dimensions. The animation focuses on a field system in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. Barely visible on the ground and in aerial photography, the features of the field system are revealed when a low level light is applied to the virtual landscape, throwing the virtual landscape into relief. The light source circles the earthworks, so their extent can be seen from all angles

Lasers can also be used on a smaller scale to study objects in greater detail. Here the skull and some of the long bones from the Amesbury Archer have been scanned. The 3D model has sub-millimetre accuracy, and can be used to study and measure their physical aspects without the need to touch the original.

3D laser scanning has also been used to record graffiti on a tree trunk on Salisbury plain on which the names of soldiers stationed there during training for both World Wars. Since they were carved the tree has grown, the bark expanded and the names have become harder to read. This visualisation shows how 3D data may be able to enhance the carvings and read the names more clearly, preserving them for the future. It may be possible to correlate the information on some of the trees with military records including dates of deployment on Salisbury Plain and the fate of the soldiers who carved their names.

See more LiDAR of Stonehenge:
wessexarch.co.uk/blogs/computing/2007/11/15/stonehenge-landscape-3d

Find out about the Amesbury Archer:
wessexarch.co.uk/projects/amesbury/archer.html

Visit Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum:
salisburymuseum.org.uk/

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