UAS Remote Sensing on a Medieval Castle Site in Oudorperpolder, Alkmaar

Year: 2023

Supervision: Jitte Waagen

Execution and research: Jitte Waagen, Tijm Lanjouw, Alicia Walsh, Markus Stoffer, Mason Scholte

Project description: The drone remote sensing operations were commissioned by Nancy de Jong-Lambregts, municipal archaeologist of Alkmaar. In the Oudorperpolder, two castles have been built by count Floris V in the 13th century AD, the Middelburg and the Nieuwburg, and subsequently destroyed in the context of ongoing conflicts with the West-Frisians.

The drone operations were aimed at both complementing the existing state of the research based on historical sources, old excavation documentation, and Geophysical Prospection data collection, as well as at the methodological research into the potential of drone sensor archaeology in the context of buried stone remains in the Dutch landscape. An important archaeological and historical question is to what degree the landscape directly surrounding the castles could still present traces from that period of use, such as roads and connected buildings.

The analyses are still ongoing, but preliminary visualisations of the collected sensor data already generated some interesting clues as to both the castle areas themselves as well as the landscape directly surrounding the castles.



DJI M300 RTK ready for takeoff in the Oudorperpolder
Drone-generated thermal orthomosaic of the castle Middelburg area