Airborne LiDAR is a widely accepted tool for archaeological prospection. Over the last decade an archaeology-specific data processing workflow has been evolving, ranging from raw data acquisition and processing, point cloud processing and product derivation to archaeological interpretation, dissemination and archiving. Currently, though, there is no agreement on the specific steps or terminology. This workflow is an interpretative knowledge production process that must be documented as such to ensure the intellectual transparency and accountability required for evidence-based archaeological interpretation. However, this is rarely the case, and there are no accepted schemas, let alone standards, to do so. As a result, there is a risk that the data processing steps of the workflow will be accepted as a black box process and its results as “hard data”. The first step in documenting a scientific process is to define it. Therefore, this paper provides a critical review of existing archaeology-specific workflows for airborne LiDAR-derived topographic data processing, resulting in an 18-step workflow with consistent terminology. Its novelty and significance lies in the fact that the existing comprehensive studies are outdated and the newer ones focus on selected aspects of the workflow. Based on the updated workflow, a good practice example for its documentation is presented.
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