Article

Searching Out Prehispanic Landscapes in Mesoamerica by Means of Aerial Reconnaissance

Alfred H. Siemens

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195390933.013.0039

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Searching Out Prehispanic Landscapes in Mesoamerica by Means of Aerial Reconnaissance

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Aerial imagery in its various forms is prime material for the location and contextualization of ancient remains; it also contributes to an ample appreciation of the significance of landscape. It has been used in the investigation of many long-occupied Mesoamerican places, but not always systematically or explicitly. This article outline procedures and constraints in the search for evidence of ancient landscapes in Mesoamerica by means of light plane reconnaissance at 1,000 to 3,000 feet above the surface by using the visible segment of the electromagnetic spectrum for the production of oblique photographs. Aerial photo reconnaissance along these lines complements controlled vertical air photography and remote sensing; it facilitates exploration, it can initiate or contextualize investigations, and it can suggest hypotheses.

Keywords: aerial imagery; aerial photo reconnaissance; oblique photographs; ancient landscapes; vertical air photography; remote sensing

Article.  4900 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; Landscape Archaeology

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