Unknown Roman road network in Great Britain. Discovered using laser technology.

Article bay
3 min readAug 25, 2023

Thanks to the utilization of airborne laser scanning, an unknown network of roads built by the Romans has been discovered in Great Britain. These roads were used extensively and were laid out in a deliberate manner.

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A groundbreaking method has entered the world of archaeology in recent decades. We’re talking about airborne laser scanning. This technique, which employs devices like LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), involves emitting laser pulses towards the Earth’s surface from a transmitter located on an aircraft or drone. The echoes, reflected from obstacles, are then measured upon their return to the receiver. Archaeologists consider this method revolutionary because it enables a highly accurate analysis of terrain features, allowing for the detection of faint remnants of ancient architecture. Initially, this technology was only used for military purposes.

The method is not only suitable for locating ancient tombs but, as it turns out, ancient roads as well. British scientists demonstrated this in an article published in the “Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology.” They focused on the southwestern region of Great Britain, west of Exeter. This pertains to a substantial part of Devon and Cornwall counties. They successfully identified a network of Roman roads.