Laser technology

In 2009, AOC Archaeology undertook a survey of the World War 2 remains in Lossie Forest. This record will help Forestry Commission Scotland manage the site. It also provides new opportunities for presenting the site to the public.

AOC Archaelogy scan lossie

The AOC Archaeology survey plan of the Lossie defences, undertaken in 2009

A key element of this survey was the recording of the western gun emplacement of the coastal battery, located on the beach.

The archaeologists used a laser scanner to record the structure and create a detailed 3-dimensional digital reconstruction of the building. You can view the results as an animation - the powerful laser scanner has even picked up the modern graffiti.

How it works

This technique is a relatively new way of recording archaeological remains and historic buildings. The laser scanner shoots laser rays at different points inside and outside the building. It records the distance from the scanner to each point. This information is collected as digital data points, called point-clouds.

Using the point-clouds, the building's shape is accurately recreated, as you can see in the animation. This information also created two-dimensional plans and elevations of the building, similar to architectural plans.

Look at the images and see the artistic process of converting the digital information into a final, watercolour reconstruction of the gun emplacements.

This digital information forms the basis for a series of reconstruction paintings of how the gun emplacement looked in World War 2. The artist, Drew Smith, selected his view point and accurately scaled his drawings.