West Lothian Archaeological Trust

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Kite aerial photo of Cairnpapple Hill: Henge and cairn, West Lothian
Near infra-red kite aerial photo of Kinneil Roman Fortlet, Falkirk. The outline of two horizontal trenches dug 30 years previously can be seen to the right
Near ultra-violet kite aerial photo of the levelled former Etna Brickworks site, Armadale, West Lothian.

The West Lothian Archaeological Trust was formed on 19 April 2012 and registered as Scottish Charity[1] No. SC043118 on 26 April 2012. The Trust was established to support the activities of the West Lothian Archaeology Group[2] which was formed in 2010, having been known previously as West Lothian Aerial Archaeology. In May 2013, the Trust was approved as an Associated Partner.[3] of ArcheoLandscapes Europe (ArcLand), part of the European Union Culture Programme, to represent its area of expertise. Also in May, the Trust launched The Scottish National Aerial Photography Scheme (SNAPS)[4]

Goals of the Trust[edit]

The aims of the Charitable Trust, as officially registered, are for 'the advancement of heritage and science' by[5]

(a) Investigating (with emphasis on non-invasive techniques), recording and publicising (by publication and presentation) the archaeological/heritage sites of West Lothian, and elsewhere.

(b) Promoting the use of kite aerial photography as a low-cost, inclusive, environmentally friendly technique for archaeological/heritage photography and promoting the use of any other techniques which may be deemed appropriate by the Trustees.

(c) Running and maintaining an archaeological website as part of an associated community and heritage website.

Work of the Trust[edit]

The West Lothian Archaeology Group and Archaeological Trust specialise in kite aerial photography (KAP) from the near ultra-violet through to the near[6] and thermal infrared[7][8] (Thermography). KAP is one of many techniques of aerial archaeology and was first used in an archaeological context by Henry Wellcome 100 years ago. For a detailed consideration of kite aerial photography in the near-UV and near-IR, see the online publications of Geert Verhoeven which are listed in the external links below. On-site aerial photography complements the non-invasive methods of geophysical survey (archaeology) and images can be used to create virtual 3D models and animations.[9]

The work of the Trust is published on the Community and Heritage Website[10] of Armadale, West Lothian.

The Trust is also experimenting with other techniques, including quadcopters, water rockets and balloons which may have a wider appeal, especially to groups working with children.[11]

Thermogram of Cairnpapple Hill


  1. ^ "Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator". Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  2. ^ "West Lothian Archaeology Group". Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  3. ^ "ArchaeoLandscapes Europe". Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  4. ^ "The Scottish National Aerial Photography Scheme". Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  5. ^ "West Lothian Heritage: Newsletter of West Lothian Heritage Services". West Lothian Council. Autumn 2012. p. 8. 
  6. ^ "Links: Other IR / UV KAPers". Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  7. ^ Kite Aerial Thermography, International Society for Archaeological Prospection, Newsletter, 29, 9-10, November 2011.
  8. ^ "Thermal prospecting on vegetation". Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  9. ^ "Low Altitude Aerial Photography and Visualisation of Heritage". Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  10. ^ "Armadale Community and Heritage Website". Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  11. ^ "The Young Archaeologists’ Club". Retrieved 2012-12-02. 

External links[edit]