Archaeology from the air

Plakat Arheologija Iz Zraka Ispravak 02

Archaeology and aerial photography share a common history that goes back to the beginning of the 20thcentury when the first aerial photographs of Stonehenge and the forum in Rome were taken from a balloon. In time, a separate branch of our scientific field developed – aerial archaeology that focuses on studying the traces of past human activities in the landscape. Photographs taken from the air were also used to document and present archaeological sites. Until recently, these were taken from balloons, ladders, service vehicles and other platforms. However, with the development of new technologies and the commercialization of unmanned aerial vehicles, the process of documenting sites has been significantly accelerated, and the quality of presentational photographs obtained a new dimension. 

Unmanned aerial vehicles or, colloquially, drones, have a long history and a wide spectrum of use, but they have only been developing quickly and commercially in the last ten years or so. Rotorcrafts hold a special place in the wide spectrum of different aerial vehicles because they are able to hover in place. The most popular variant is certainly the quadcopter. At first, the vehicles required additional equipment, meaning that the camera was separate from the drone, while today drones come with integrated cameras in RTF (ready to fly) versions.

Drones have allowed us to record sites from previously unobtainable angles and positions, and the mere fact that they are a relatively cheap product has helped them become an integral part of the toolset used by larger institutions that do archaeological research, thereby significantly increasing the number of aerial photographs of archaeological sites.

The goal of the Archaeology from the air exhibition is to present some of the most interesting and attractive aerial photographs of archaeological sites from the territory of the Republic of Croatia. This exhibition of photographs stands apart from classic archaeological exhibitions. The main focus is on the photographs themselves, and information about the archaeological context has been reduced to a minimum.


Exhibition authors: Miroslav Vuković (department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of zZgreb, Jacqueline Balen (Archaeological Museum in Zagreb)

Authors of photographs and heads of excavations: Ivan Alduk, Ana Azinović-Bebek, Jacqueline Balen, Igor Borzić, Sébastien Bully, Josip Burmaz, Morana Čaušević Bully, Eva Buća, Lea Čataj, Martina Čelhar, Robert Čimin, Maja Grgurić, Andrej Janeš, Tomislav Jerončić, Hrvoje Kalafatić, Vedran Katavić, Domagoj Kristović, Saša Kovačević, Antonio Kovačević, Marin Kraljev, Dora Kušan Špalj, Dženi Los, Marin Mađerić, Hrvoje Manenica, Igor Miholjek, Ina Miloglav, Zlatan Novak, Dorica Nemeth-Ehrlich, Mate Parica, Domagoj Perkić, Tajana Pleše, Hrvoje Potrebica, Dinko Radić, Irena Radić Rossi, Marta Rakvin, Borko Rožanković, Petar Sekulić, Bartul Šiljeg, Krešimir Šobat, Jure Šućur, Dinko Tresić Pavičić, Ante Uglešić, Josip Višnjić, Dalibor Vugrinec, Miroslav Vuković

Exhibition setup: Ivan Troha

English translation: Ana Đukić

Graphic design: Srećko Škrinjarić


Invitation photograph:

Author: Maja Grgurić

Head of excavations: Mate Parica

Institution: University of Zadar, Department of Archaeology

Site: o. Stipanac

Position: Prokljansko jezero


Poster photograph:

Author: Tomislav Jerončić

Head of excavations: Tomislav Jerončić

Institution: Conservation Department in Imotski, KAUKAL d.o.o.

Site: Grad

Position: Lokvičići