REVEALING THE SECRETS OF STONEHENGE THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF LASER SCANNING, PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND VISUALISATION TECHNIQUES
Stonehenge is perhaps the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. Begun as a simple earthwork enclosure, it was built in several stages with the unique lintelled stone circle being erected in the Neolithic period in around 2,500 BC. Today Stonehenge, together with Avebury and other associated sites, form the heart of a World Heritage Site (WHS) with a unique and dense concentration of outstanding prehistoric monuments. In 2011 English Heritage (EH) embarked on a new survey of the monument. Undertaken by the Greenhatch Group, a commercial survey company based near Derby, a combination of laser scanning and photogrammetric approaches were used to generate the required scale and detailed level of output required by English Heritage. This paper will describe the background to this project and its context within previous survey activities at this World Heritage Site. It will explain the data acquisition technology and processes undertaken on site, the datasets derived from post-processing and their filtering and analysis within both subsequent research projects. Alongside a description of how the data is currently being exploited and proposed future applications within the conservation and management of the site, it will finish by considering the impact of developing geospatial imaging technologies.