Everscan: How to digitize and reopen the mounds of Bilsk natural reserve

domainEngineering company

Everscan extensively uses LiDAR both terrestrial and drone-based. One of the tasks was to use our expertise and technology to conduct an archeological survey. 

What is the challenge?

«Historical and Cultural Reserve «Bilsk» is a unique archaeological site of the cultural heritage of Ukraine. The monument is recognized by scientists as the largest fortified settlement in Europe of the Early Iron Age. Nevertheless, the development of archeological science is now absolutely impossible without the use of modern technologies. 

Some archaeologists call LiDAR almost magical or extraterrestrial technology, as with its help it is possible to detect archaeological objects, almost invisible to the naked eye, especially those under vegetation. 

“Any formation on earth makes the soil heterogeneous, leaving these so-called “footprints”. Even with time, these objects can be seen with the help of LiDAR, which is a chance to preserve history.” says Yaroslav.

In the image below, you can see the “footprint” of the church that existed on this land, all found under a deep layer of vegetation.

What is the solution?

At the end of 2020, the staff of the Bilsk Reserve initiated a LiDAR survey and the creation of a Digital Terrain Model of the complex in the form of point cloud data. The result of the survey was to help conduct further research on the possibility of deciphering the smallest anomalies that could be classified as for the condition determination.

Everscan used LiDAR equipment that acquired data with accuracy to 2,5 cm which is in accordance with the cartographic scale of the survey 1:500. This accuracy is confirmed via control ground measurements by Everscan’s specialists during the survey.

Compared to any other classical method, a characteristic feature of LiDAR scanning is the high density of measurements per 1 m², and greater accuracy of the obtained results. The photogrammetry method, despite its lower cost, is not competitive when it comes to forested areas or areas with even minimal vegetation.

What are the final results?

We have conducted the LiDAR survey from A to Z, providing the reserve with a Digital Terrain Model of the settlement, which was chosen specifically due to its major coverage with forest vegetation. 

Here is an example of a photo vs Digital Terrain Model of the archaeological settlement.

Archaeologists believe that the territory contains a large number of artifacts, which bear cultural and historical significance. This way, Everscan has contributed to the preservation of our native history, giving data to the progressive «Historical and Cultural Reserve «Bilsk». 

What’s next?

Everscan has attended the III International Scientific Conference “Space Factor in Historical Research”, addressing attention on the usage of remote sensing in the study of archaeological sites, illustrating the practical applications of the LiDAR technologies. In their upcoming plans with the historical reserve, Everscan ought to continue the usage of their beloved scanning technologies. Precisely, they are going to use georadar (ground penetrating radar) to scan, survey and then map the sub-surface of the reserve as an image.

If Indiana Jones would have had this technology, he would have been a true historian as this not only helps detecting artefacts, but also allows to avoid breaking grounds without necessity, and save the historical lands from excavations.

Hopefully, this will help Bilsk and other historically rich sites become popular places for entertainment and education. Why? After such surveys, a museum collection would match the Acropolis museum, setting new standards for appreciation of our history.

About this ShowCase

Type Engineering company
City Kyiv
Topics

Scanners, Industries

Contact

person

Yaroslav Pokotilo

mail

ip@everscan.com

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