Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle Acquired Lidar for Mapping Monumental Architecture

Mark D. McCoy, Jesse Casana, Austin Chad Hill, Elise Jakoby Laugier, Mara A. Mulrooney, Thegn N. Ladefoged
2021 Advances in Archaeological Practice  
ABSTRACTAs lidar becomes a regular part of surveying, ground-based platforms (handheld, mobile, and terrestrial lidar) and airborne platforms (piloted aircraft) are being joined by unpiloted aerial vehicle (UAV)–acquired lidar. We present a method for leveraging UAV-acquired lidar data with data collected using different lidar platforms (terrestrial and piloted aircraft), at a range of resolutions (1 to +1,000 points per m2) and geographic scales. We use these instruments to document a
more » ... document a dry-masonry stone wall enclosing a religious precinct within the royal center at Kealakekua, Kona District, Hawai'i Island. Prior to European contact in AD 1779, Kealakekua was the center of the island-wide polity during the annual Makahiki festival. Results of this study suggest that when the wall was constructed around AD 1640, it was the largest structure ever built on the island of Hawai'i as well as a strong material expression of the power of state religion and the Makahiki rituals.
doi:10.1017/aap.2021.5 fatcat:qer4wpi67jezhbosk3pd5md5oy