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Professor Chris Gaffney

From topography to topophilia: why remote sensing data matters in archaeological and heritage research

Image of Professor Chris Gaffney (Pro Vice Chancellor in Research)

Non-invasive archaeological investigation, and the visualisation of digital representations of the past have become significant ways to engage the public and to record our increasingly fragile heritage.

For over 35 years Chris has been investigating aspects of prospecting for understanding the past. In its broadest sense it is usually called ‘archaeological prospection’, and that phrase is inextricably linked to the University of Bradford.

In this lecture Chris charted on a journey that linked the present-day ground surface to the investigation of prehistoric landscapes, Roman cities, Medieval abbeys and the heritage that is the product of the very recent past. He has worked with a diverse set of partners across the world and he will draw upon these collaborations in the lecture.

The narrative throughout the talk charted the use of cutting-edge techniques to the interpretation of our fragmented past. At the heart of the lecture was the belief that the recording and interpretation of digital data can lead to profound understanding about why some places were so important in the past. From fieldwalking to imaging the heritage that is all around us, Chris explored why the pursuit of the past using digital techniques matters.

Watch the event recording on our Youtube channel.