Lidar Investigation of Knockdhu Promontory and its Environs, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Rory WA McNeary

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    9 Citations (Scopus)
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    A high-resolution aerial lidar survey (up to 40 points m-2) has been carried out in the environs of Knockdhu Promontoryin the Antrim Uplands, which is recognized as one of Northern Ireland’s most important relict multiperiod archaeologicallandscapes. This lidar survey was amongst the first such surveys commissioned specifically for archaeologicalpurposes in Northern Ireland and has helped to re-evaluate the archaeological landscape character of a 9 km2 studyarea and inform future conservation studies. Sampled ground observation was undertaken in an attempt to provide ahigher degree of interpretive integrity. These field observation exercises also highlighted the importance of the highvertical resolution of the data (0.05m at 2σ (95% confidence level)) in delineating extremely subtle upstanding earthworkfeatures that had hitherto gone unnoticed. Much of the archaeological evidence identified can be broadly ascribed to theearly post-medieval period (AD 1599–1750); this includes field boundaries, cultivation furrows, enclosures, transhumancehuts, abandoned settlements and associated pathways, but the higher ground of the Antrim Plateau in this locality is alsocharacterized by evidence of prehistoric activities and substantial earthworks survive such as the ‘Linford Barrows’ and‘Knockdhu Promontory Fort’. The lidar study has identified asmany as 285 previously unrecorded potential archaeologicalsites and amended existing records within the Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record (NISMR) and hasproved transformational as a technique to ‘open up’ the Ulster uplands for archaeological study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)263-276
    JournalArchaeological Prospection
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014


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