In many parts of Europe over the past sixty years or more archaeological air photography has brought to light more previously unknown heritage sites than any other method of exploration. Air photography has now been joined by satellite imagery, airborne laser scanning and a variety of airborne and ground-based survey techniques which are known jointly as 'remote sensing', since they explore what is beneath the earth or ocean without disturbing its surface or damaging what lies below.
Air photography, and now these new techniques, have had a dramatic impact in illustrating to the general public the character and importance of heritage sites and of the evolving landscapes within which they lie. Better public understanding and appreciation of these visual and material links with the past can lead to greater enjoyment and care for such places, resulting in better heritage conservation for the continuing enjoyment of future generations.
There are several countries in Europe, however, where these aerial and remote-sensing techniques have yet to realize their full potential. In some countries of northern, eastern and southern Europe they have hardly been applied at all. The aim of the ArchaeoLandscapes project is to address this imbalance and to create conditions for the regular use of these strikingly successful techniques across the Continent as a whole.