Precision farming and archaeology

Henry Webber*, Volker Heyd, Mark Horton, Martin Bell, Wendy Matthews, Amanda Chadburn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
271 Downloads (Pure)


With a significant growth in the agricultural technology industry, a vast amount of agricultural data is now being collected on farms throughout the world. Farmers aim to utilise these technologies to regularly record and manage the variation of crops and soils within their fields, to reduce inputs, increase yields and enhance environmental sustainability. In this paper, we aim to highlight the variety of different data types and methodological processes involved in modern precision farming systems and explore how potentially interconnected these systems are with the archaeological community. At present, no research has studied the effects of archaeological sites on soils in the context of precision farming practices. Yet from modern geophysical, geochemical and remote sensing techniques, a much greater volume of soil- and crop-related mapping is being undertaken, with huge potential for all kinds of archaeological study. From heritage management to archaeological prospection, how will the future of archaeological studies fit into this changing agricultural landscape?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-734
Number of pages8
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Issue number2
Early online date22 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is being conducted as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership) PhD studentship. We wish to thank the many people who have contributed time and advice to this research from the farming community, the precision farming industry and Historic England.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s).


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