Hill forts


That’s great. Do you have any ‘regular’ aerial video of the site? We could then create a dedicated page for Clachtoll Broch which contains video, stills and 3D render. Combine this with info/date from the site and we’d have a great ‘showcase’ page to take to the institutions (NT, Oxford Uni etc) and an example template for all the sites. Thank you


I’d like to use this footage and stills to create a site page for Twmbarlwm if that’s OK with you? We can always add to the page as and when you can return to the site.

Meanwhile, Dennis McPeake has sent in some footage and information about a beautiful Fort in County Armagh: https://www.airchaeology.org/2018/09/25/navan-fort/

And Steve Larcombe sent footage of three forts in Cornwall, here is one of them: https://www.airchaeology.org/2018/09/24/cadson-bury/

Off to an encouraging start!


If there is no rush and you’d like something specific I can do that, I am off for a week in Oct so could get you something better if you would prefer, weather permitting of course.


Sounds great! Thank you


Is there anything in particular you want?
Give me a list and I’ll see what I can do.


Well, since you asked…

  1. one low 360 degree circuit (approx tree height to capture the sites details),
  2. one high circuit (further out and approx 3 times higher to place the site in context with its surroundings),
  3. 2 x flyovers - North South, East-West at a height which keeps the whole site in frame, and
  4. a ‘plan’ view photo which is taken directly above the site looking straight down. If the site is too large, then please take overlapping shots to create a montage. Or film it.

If you still battery after all that, then please shoot anything you think looks interesting. Low level panning shots across interesting features can work. Or you can get some interesting video simply walking through the site hand-holding your drone. The gimbal does a great job of steadying the shot and because the props aren’t spinning you can get a lot done on the remaining few % battery life. No-one likes to come home with unused battery life :grin:

Does that sound OK?


Not much then :grin:


10 min flight should cover that one !! :rofl:


And the rest …


Is this type of video any use ? >>>>


Sounds a lot doesn’t it! But it always surprises me how you can do in a 10 minute flight.

For the circuits I tend to fly clockwise (don’t know why). I get up to the right height and distance from the fort, set the camera to get everything in frame, start recording. Then push the left stick fully over and hold it there for the whole flight. I can then just focus on gently turning with the right stick to keep the target in frame and at the right distance. Bit scary at first, and I don’t go flat out on low level circuit, but it helps my small brain to only think about one control at a time :slightly_smiling_face: and it keeps the speed consistent throughout the shot.

Flyovers are obviously easier - just as long as the whole site is in frame and height is constant (not always easy on sloping ground). You can even shoot these in sport mode if the site is large.

Also helps to have the gimbal set to respond slowly and use ‘cinematic’ mode.

For a small Fort you can get all the shots on one battery, or at most two.


Nice high circuit! We can certainly use footage like that :slightly_smiling_face: If you are happy to share it online then please upload the original clip to our OneDrive folder here: https://tinyurl.com/airchaeology It would be helpful if you could edit the clip down to just the circuit of the fort, thanks. That was a long flight in to the fort!


I’ll see what I can do, you’ll have to pray for some of this weather we are having in the south this week though, knowing my luck it will be monsoon season when I’m off for the week :laughing:


Hi - sorry for the delay in replying. I do have some suitable aerial video, which I can edit down. I’m going to the US on holiday tomorrow until the last week in October, when I’ll get back to you with the video.


Our first 3D render for a Hill Fort site!!

Created by an Archaeologist in Wales called Mark Walters. He is a CAA Approved PfCO Drone Operator and used LiDAR data to create the 3d render.

Do you guys think this adds another dimension to the site page? Should we try to include more 3D renders?