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Archaeology & History

Drones help to map ancient sites in Peru

By T.K. Randall
August 28, 2013 · Comment icon 5 comments

The ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. Image Credit: Allard Schmidt
Archaeologists in Peru are using unmanned military drones to aid in their efforts to map ancient ruins.
Home to the world famous Machu Picchu, Peru's treasure trove of several thousand archaeological sites has made it a top tourist destination for visitors from all over the world. In recent years however some of these sites have come under threat from opportunistic miners, prompting authorities to come up with new ways to monitor and protect the country's ancient heritage.

Typically used for military strikes and surveillance, drones have turned out to be an ideal solution to help establish boundaries and to protect these sites from squatters and miners.
Their three-dimensional mapping capabilities have also been able to provide archaeologists with new information about both existing locations and sites that have yet to be excavated.

"With this technology, I was able to do in a few days what had taken me years to do," said archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo. "We have always wanted to have a bird's-eye view of where we are working."

Source: Reuters | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ancient astronaut 11 years ago
Not a bad idea.
Comment icon #2 Posted by ash68 11 years ago
Makes good sense but I bet the military are mapping at the same time
Comment icon #3 Posted by brlesq1 11 years ago
About time those drones did something useful. But I do wonder what the military plans to do with the information.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Professor T 11 years ago
of course.. military drones are good and peaceful protectors of heritage.. Don't believe the bad press, the killings, the orphans.. accept them into every corner of the globe.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Kludge808 11 years ago
Ahhh, but will they prove once and for all that they were made by Angry Ants ... or whatever AA stands for?


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