Picture Perfect: Using Drone Technology and Photogrammetry Techniques to Map the Western Stone Forts of Ireland

James O’Driscoll* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The Western Stone Forts form some of the most spectacular archaeological monuments in Ireland and include well known sites such as Dún Aonghasa in Co. Galway and Cahercommaun in Co. Clare. The group comprises a number of heterogeneous forts characterized by their exceptionally thick and high stone walls and other distinctive architectural features such as terraces, steps, guard chambers, and chevaux de fries. It is clear, however, that they form a loosely defined group of monuments that have a broad chronological span ranging from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Medieval period. The aim of this project is to create a complete suite of high resolution three-dimensional models of the Western Stone Forts on the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and assess the applicability of photogrammetry techniques to landscape studies and heritage management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-146
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number2
Early online date7 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Royal Irish Academy. The author would like to acknowledge the Royal Irish Academy, which helped to fund this project as part of their Directed Research for World Heritage Sites grant scheme. He would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers and the journal editor, Christina Luke, for their helpful comments.

Data Availability Statement

No data availability statement.


  • GIS
  • photogrammetry
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • Western Stone Forts


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