crop marks

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In studies of aerial photographs, cropmarks are patterns or variations in the colour or growth rates of cereals or other planted crops (including peas, grass, etc.) that are visible from the air, or on a photographic image taken from the air, and which are usually caused by the differential effects on plant ecology of below‐ground disturbances or soil enrichment of some kind. Often these relate to archaeological features such as buried ditches and pits and thus provide a proxy indicator of what lies within or beneath the ground. In especially favourable conditions cropmarks can be seen from ground level.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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