Hidden Landscapes of the Past: Uncovering the Ancient World through LiDAR

In this interdisciplinary summer lecture series, speakers look at how different applications of LiDAR have changed our understanding of ancient landscapes.

The departments of Pre-Columbian Studies and Garden and Landscape Studies invite you to a virtual summer lecture series. Remote sensing with LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has become a significant technique for those who study ancient cultures. It offers invaluable possibilities for noninvasive exploration of terrains, including those otherwise inaccessible, for former human settlements. LiDAR application in archaeology is varied and ranges from airborne laser scanning of entire regions to small-scale explorations of nearby environments by drones. The lectures in this series will look at how these different applications have changed our understanding of ancient landscapes. What can we learn through this technology about how past cultures shaped their environment? And what kind of histories does it uncover?  The talks cover projects across the Americas as well as in Angkor Wat and Italy.


Webinars occur Wednesdays, 2:00–3:30 p.m. EDT, unless otherwise noted.

Olmec and Maya Ceremonial Landscape Revealed through LiDAR
June 16, 2021 | Takeshi Inomata (University of Arizona)

The Garden City of Greater Angkor: Insights from Remote Sensing
June 23, 2021, 4:00–5:30 p.m. EDT | Roland Fletcher (University of Sydney)

Lasers below the Clouds: Mapping Kuelap with Drone-Mounted and Terrestrial LiDAR
June 30, 2021 | Parker VanValkenburgh (Brown University)

New Light under the Amazon Forest 
July 7, 2021 | José Iriarte (University of Exeter)

Bathed in Light: Revealing Ohio’s Ancient Monuments with LiDAR
July 14, 2021 | Jarrod Burks (Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc.)

Visualizing Bomarzo: LiDAR and the Interpretation of an Enigmatic Renaissance Landscape
July 21, 2021, 4:00–5:30 p.m. EDT | Luke Morgan (Monash University)/John Garton (Clark University)

Taking the High Ground: A Model for Lowland Maya Settlement Patterns as Seen through LiDARJuly 28, 2021 | Marcello Canuto (Tulane University)

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