As surface topography can reflect buried archaeological features, one of the first steps in archaeological site detection is detailed topographic mapping. Nowadays, topographic analysis and interpretation can be performed using Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and data processing. This allows creating very detailed and accurate digital models of the ground relief without possible plant canopy. It further enables advanced visualizations of the landscapes' topography and the recognition of potential archaeological features.
Detected anomalies in the topography and in the ground then need to be further investigated with archaeological sampling methods (e.g. core drilling, trial trenches) and finally with archaeological excavations, followed by laboratory micro excavation in case of, for example, cremation graves with urns. Post-excavation analyses commonly involve human and animal skeletal remains, as they have a high rate of occurrence and survivability into the archaeological record. Since remains are also highly informative with providing demographic data and life habits of past populations, they are thoroughly studied through the application of macroscopic, microscopic, molecular, elemental and isotopic analyses.
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