Three-dimensional (3D) visualisation: the application of terrestrial laser scanning in the investigation of historical Scottish farming townships

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-866
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number3
Early online date27 Nov 2008
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
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Recent developments in digital technologies are heralding significant changes in the way we acquire, visualise and analyse archaeological data. Terrestrial laser scanners can be used to create photo-realistic virtual copies of landscapes, and archaeological features, and offer the potential to improve our understanding of three-dimensional (3D) spatial relationships at study sites. Here we present a methodology for the integration of a high-resolution 3D site model with soil chemical data obtained from an abandoned settlement site located in the Central Highlands of Scotland. At this site, the multi-element concentration in soil, co-visualised within a topographic setting, has an important role to play in elucidating settlement layout and activity. The methods described here are also of significance in archiving sites of archaeological/historical importance where development activities and/or environmental processes may destroy remains, or where access to field sites is restricted


  • lidar, laser scanning, 3D, topography, soil chemistry, Scotland, geoarchaeology