A few weeks ago I was contacted by an engineer who developed a special app for outdoor enthusiasts. With the application you can load hiking trails on your smartphone, which allow a completely different view of nature.
The three-dimensional surface profiles of the app are created from lidar data (Light Detection and Ranging) and show the landscape as it would appear without vegetation. For example, this technique, for which the soil is laser scanned on the ground, is used by geo-researchers to make flood forecasts. Data has been collected nationally in Germany and is even available for free download in some states.
The technology has an interesting side effect: archaeologists can use it to identify surface structures typical of the remains of old ramparts, paths or mounds. Digital aerial photos sometimes indicate previously unknown artifacts in the ground, traces under trees and bushes would be difficult to identify.
The engineer also wanted to allow hikers with his app a new look at the environment. The Lidarkarten shows what is interesting to discover on the right and left of the path. Recently, he himself discovered a wall in the Eifel, which apparently was not yet known. He reported the discovery to the office responsible for the maintenance of earth monuments and also wrote a small tweet about his discovery.
When the archaeologists of the office subsequently examined the wall, which could date back to the Middle Ages or the modern era, they found new traces of prey graves in the ground. Apparently, people with metal detectors had searched for interesting finds here. Now the engineer is in dispute with the Bodensekmalpflege. The structure accuses him of having attracted the graves of thieves with his message on Twitter.
The illegal predatory graves are however a problem in the region, the engineer noticed in his walks more and more often typical traces in the ground. The Eifel was contested towards the end of the Second World War as no other front. Militaria collectors who travel here use probes to search for old weapons or ammunition. This is not only dangerous for the guys in the ground, the excavation also disturbs archaeologists. Later you will find only destroyed structures.
History touches on the issue of managing new technologies. The high-tech or Lidardaten metal probes are fantastic. But they also have potential abuses. Do I need to adjust the data on the cover or pair the purchase of metal probes with a license or registration? Finally, above all the so-called Sondler often moves to gray legal areas, sometimes even unknowingly. However, metal probes can be purchased. But they are usually not allowed to dig archaeological remains on their own. Many survey researchers want to support researchers in their work.
In reality, only an approach that many land conservation offices can successfully implement, including those responsible for the Eifel, is to help: they offer courses for volunteers in which they receive basic knowledge of archeology and learn how to use their own probes at the service of research. Before there is a permit for some areas, the Sondlers must cram properly. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the "Probe and Archeology" booklet is 68 pages long.
The difficulty is only: work with Sondlern now binds a lot of capacity to the not very generously equipped authorities. Maybe it could have improved here before.
Your Jörg Römer
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My reading tips this week
- Attention, only for strong nerves: this story of bloodsucking insects is well suited to the week of Halloween. You should shock one or the other reader with disgusting images.
- This year the German Archaeological Institute celebrates 190 years. How to deal with the history of one of the leading archaeological research institutes in the world? In a comic book.
- The election results of European countries have recently seen growth for populists and extremists: multiculturalism is currently going through a difficult period. Researchers are getting more and more evidence that thousands of years ago it was quite colorful in Europe.
- The Bayeux tapestry is an impressive testimony of medieval embroidery. Historians do not agree on the origin of the carpet almost 70 meters long, which captures numerous scenes of the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century. Now a theory provides new details.
- Sports scientists, long distance runners and athletics officials are currently discussing a new Nike running shoe. Apparently, athletes with an American branded equipment contract are a step ahead of their competitors thanks to the shoe. Should miraculous shoes be banned?
- The British Physician Organization (BMA) has apologized to doctors who have been victims of sexual harassment during their career. An investigation had previously revealed that the women of the organization had been discriminated against and in some cases sexually harassed.
What is the abbreviation behind the OMG particle?
What makes the reproduction of seahorses special?
What was the explanation for the death of a toad, observed in 2005 in Hamburg? us
Hundreds of animals have swollen with air until they exploded.
* The answers are available at the bottom of the newsletter
Photo of the week
Like a bizarre horror department store acts as a National Wildlife Property Repository in the State of Colorado. Here are preserved about 1.3 million wild animal objects that have confiscated authority: stool made of elephant legs, slippers made of bear paw – and a zebra head, prepared as a trophy and kept in a cart of spending. It is transported through the warehouse.
At most, it takes milliseconds for listeners to recognize a popular song – then their pupils dilate and a brainfire of happy emotions begins in the brain that sometimes causes ecstatic joy in the audience during concerts. Sometimes it took only 100 milliseconds. Brain researchers led by Maria Chait of the University College of London measured this surprisingly short reaction time in the test subjects.
The Good king News + –
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Computer: how to create artificial intelligence
Environment: biologists have completed a census of earthworms – with surprising discoveries
Medicine: does every tenth woman really suffer from morbidly fat legs?
History: the bizarre life of the American miracle healer Norman Baker
* Answers Quiz: OMG stands for the Oh My God particle, a high-energy particle of cosmic radiation
/ In seahorses, males become pregnant. Previously, females injected their eggs into a pouch of male animals
/ The crows had caught the toads and the liver was eaten, was a veterinarian's explanation. When threatened, the toads are swelling. The liver acts as a mechanical resistance to the lungs. Because of the missing organ and the hole in the body, the ships tore and the other organs came out of the animals.