Remote sensing landscapes of water management on the Victorian goldfields, Australia

Publication date: December 2016Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 76
Author(s): Peter Davies, Jodi Turnbull, Susan Lawrence
The integration of remote sensing technologies, GIS and mobile mapping platforms is producing new insights into the archaeology of historic water management systems. Our case study of the gold rush in 19th-century Victoria, Australia, has identified ditches, dams, mining claims and sediment sinks at site and landscape scales that are normally obscured by dense vegetation. New technologies including LiDAR provide solutions to these challenges and make possible the analysis and interpretation of these spatially diffuse but historically linked sites. For the first time it is possible to record and analyse a complex archaeological landscape in north-east Victoria that is the result of alluvial mining activity in the later 19th and early 20th century. This approach offers a significant advance in Australasian archaeological science and provides an important model for other researchers examining industrial landscapes.