Kristof KOVACS / Michael MOSER / Klaus HANKE

(Surveying and Geoinformation Unit, University of Innsbruck, Austria)

In 2007, the special research program HiMAT – History of Mining Activities in Tyrol and adjacent areas, with the focus on environment and human societies, was established at the University of Innsbruck as an interdisciplinary research project, sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
The aim of this project is the investigation of the impact of mining activities on the environment and human society from prehistoric to modern times at the highest scientific level. The project is carried out by internationally renowned partners from European universities and the “Deutsches Bergbau Museum” in Bochum. The effect of mining is noticeable in the settlements’ history and the resulting economic development of these areas up to modern times. The expansion and recession of this mining area in the eastern Alps can be studied only through few examples like Mitterberg and Schwaz/Brixlegg.
Within HiMAT, the Surveying and Geoinformation Unit of Innsbruck University partly deals with these issues. Firstly, the creation and use of high accuracy digital terrain models (DTMs) for archaeological prospection is used to locate potential excavation areas. The DTMs are obtained by the survey of topography with airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) technology, which provides information about the terrain surface and the possible archaeological structures even under dense vegetation. A second issue is 3D Documentation. Surveying has always been an indispensable partner of the archaeological excavation activity. One of the fundamental tasks is the continuous and objective survey and documentation of three-dimensional data throughout the project duration of the SFB-HiMAT.

Keywords: archaeological prospection, excavation documentation, laser scanning, photogrammetry