Archaeology Magazine

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LiDAR Technology Maps New England’s Colonial Past

Monday, January 06, 2014

LiDAR hillshade

STORRS, CONNECTICUT—Colonial-era roads and farmsteads have been spotted in Connecticut and Massachusetts using high-tech, LiDAR scanners that use laser light pulses to generate images of surface features hidden by forest growth. “A great deal of New England is now forested, and a lot of people don’t know it wasn’t always that way. There was a lot of subsistence farming across New England, but with industrialization and people heading west to farm, people abandoned these homesteads and the forests started covering everything,” said Katharine Johnson of the University of Connecticut.