History of aerial photography in the area

The oldest aerial photographs of the area were made in the 1930s for cartographic purposes. These photographs sometimes show archaeological features.

During the Second World War the R.A.F. took aerial photos for strategic purposes. They did not wait for optimal conditions but took aerial photographs whenever possible. This has led to some unique images as the conditions during the war led to exceptional situations. For example, some areas were flooded (inundation) for strategic goals, but sometimes also due to the lack of pumping facilities. Old water channels became visible in this way. Furthermore the photographs were taken throughout the year which made the winter pictures with long shadows and/or snow/frost suitable for the study of archaeological features shown in micro-relief.

In 1950 Wensink discovered five tumuli between the three tumuli Van Giffen had excavated in 1949 at Grootebroek. Wensink used aerial photos taken by cartographers in the 1930s.

In 1956/7 van Giffen used photos taken from a kite for illustrative purposes.

During the late 1950s and 60s a water tower was used to visually scan the area for archaeological remains and as a platform to take photographs of excavations.

In 1963 Ente, while researching the soil conditions, discovered old ditches on aerial photos taken by the R.A.F.

In the 1960s some aerial photos were taken. The main purpose was to photograph excavations.

From 1974 until 1993 regular flights were made by the University of Amsterdam to systematically survey the area through the use of aerial photography. Other parts of the Netherlands were also surveyed.

After the University of Amsterdam stopped undertaking aerial photography this aspect of archaeological survey has become rare in Dutch archaeology as a whole.