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Drone remote sensing over a late Iron Age/Roman period landscape in Lionserpolder, Friesland
The drone remote sensing operations were commissioned by the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (RCE), by archaeologist drs. Menno van der Heiden. The project research and reporting on the RCE side has subsequently been taken over by archaeologist dr. Rik Feiken. The area under investigation is an Iron Age/Roman period landscape surrounding an unexcavated site, probably a late Iron Age/Roman period (LIA/R) farm. There are clear patterns of LIA/R habitation, observed through ditches that are likely of LIA/R origin, and LIA/R pottery retrieved from test corings and test trenches. The expected habitation is situated on an ‘island’, known as ‘Het Eiland’, an isolated stretch of land in a former salt marsh landscape, that is not visible as a habitation mound. More common in this area are so-called ‘terpen’ which are clearly visible as anthropogenic elevated areas, so this is a relatively rare phenomenon (Feiken & van der Heiden, 2018). The surrounding landscape may still be a largely intact late Iron Age landscape with old watercourses and salt marshes (‘kwelders’) still visible in the terrain morphology, and possible offsite archaeological remains. Therefore, a drone remote sensing operation was considered to be an effective method to map potentially present remains of the local LIA/R past.