Archaeologists Using Drones in Peru for Mapping Sites and Ruins
Archaeologists in Peru are using unmanned aircrafts to map ancient ruins and archaeology sites. The drones used for the mapping activity are much smaller in size and are economical as well compared to military drones. Thousands of ancient ruins have to be surveyed and use of drones will speed up the works.
The unmanned aircrafts are also helpful in protection of sites from miners and squatters. Three dimensional models of Peruvian sites have been made with the use of drones and the speed of work has picked up. Farmers and squatters have tried at many places, especially Chan Chan, to seize land. The use of drones will help the archaeologists to quickly mark the boundaries and protect the places.
A digital data bank about the places and ancient ruins will help to keep a close watch and protect the sites. The government is planning to buy several more drones to be used at other sites across the country. Swiss company senseFly and US company Aurora Flight Sciences have supplied commercial drones.
The 15th century Machu Picchu ruins and Inca City in Peru are world famous. There are more than 13,000 sites in Peru. The Culture Ministry has informed that the archaeologist teams have been successful in marking 2500 sites till now. There are many other important sites in the country, which need immediate attention. The Culture Ministry has a budget of $5 million for archaeology projects.
While drones from some US companies cost around $35-40 thousand, the ones needed for the current project can also be manufactured with a low budget of $1500-2000. The proper marking of sites is important to save them from being illegally occupied.