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Lidar Finds Ancient Roads in UK

romanAirborne lidar was used to create flood maps of Britain, but they are revealing more than just at-risk regions – they have also led to the discovery of several ancient Roman roads.

Amateur archaeologists have been able to use the flood-mapping technology to trace the paths of Roman roads which have remained buried under the land for some 1,600 years.

Although the Environment Agency has been using the technology for some 20 years, it was only made freely available to the public in 2013.

And in just two years, teams of archaeologists have already unearthed seven long-lost Roman roads across the country.

‘It is a wonderful feeling suddenly to solve a puzzle you have been working on for decades,’ retired road engineer David Ratledge, 70, who is using his retirement to trace the UK’s network of ancient roads, told The Times.

After 45 years of exploring the fields of Lancashire in search of a lost road, Mr Ratledge finally discovered a 23-mile road between Ribchester and Lancaster, thanks to the Lidar technology.

The archaeology enthusiast said that it is the first ‘new’ Roman road to be discovered in the UK for 150 years.


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