(Department of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology, Vienna, Austria)

Keywords: geographical information system, airborne laser scanning, digital terrain model, prospection

The poster showcases the project “LiDAR-based prospection in the Vienna woods”, which was funded by the Federal Monuments Authority Austria and supported by the municipality of Vienna (MA49). It was launched in order to find new archaeological sites within Vienna’s wooded regions, to survey and analyse known historic monuments and, finally, to confirm selected sites through field walking. First, the recorded point cloud was processed in order to generate a high resolution digital terrain model. This was the main initial data, from which several visualisations were derived, for example hillshades, local relief models and opennesse models. After the calculation of the visualisations, they were systematically gone through, often in combined views, in order to arrive at the entire spectrum of all possible archaeological features expressed by height values. Thus, they were the main basis for the interpretation of the relief and thus also for the archaeological structures. This prospection work resulted in a total of 2,841 mapped historical structures, which could be related to human activities within the research area. In addition, 186 places were interpreted and registered as archaeological sites. This huge amount of structures underlines the value of this technique in gathering archaeological information and therefore the use of this method for cultural heritage purposes. In fact, there is nothing new about the principles involved, even though some of the processes and visualisations have been developed only recently. Instead, it is a recognised and promising technique, with demonstrable value for archaeological and cultural heritage objectives.