Video Surveillance At Archaeology Sites Might Surprise You

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on Apr 17, 2014

What is the camera of choice for securing archaeological sites? We talked to archaeologist Chris Merritt about what cameras he found most successful based on his research on the topic.

Utah, where Merritt works as at the state Department of Heritage and Arts, has approximately 90,000 archaeological sites.

“There is a big threat to these sites nationwide. These sites are being systematically looted. There is an underground black market for archaeological materials,” he said.

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Comments (4)

You can read his full paper on the topic here.

Linky no worky

Since the deterrent value of standard cctv cameras is often questioned, see Erenthal Et. al, one would think that trail cameras at a site where a given transgression might not even be detected for weeks(?) after the fact would have seem to have mostly forensic value.

Maybe trail cams with a 'smoke detector' style slowly blinking light and fake antenna could be worth their cost. Maybe people wouldn't be as likely to steal them if they thought the images weren't only local. And although the antenna might make the cam look more valuable, it wouldn't make an honest man steal either...

Reconyx makes some covert housings for their cameras to disguise them as rocks or electrical boxes, as well as offer locking boxes and vandal-proof kits so that the cameras don't get stolen. More info. here.

As mentioned solar power can be an issue not just cause it needs to be covert but changing weather can put a stop to the efficency and the back up batteries then don't last as long as planned.

It may be worth considering fuel cells powered from commercial grade LPG or CNG. Here's an example fuel cell. The length of run time is only limited by the size of the gas cylinder!

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