A range of techniques have become established for the visualization and analysis of airborne LiDAR elevation data within the field of archaeology. In this paper we discuss the visualization of test data representing archaeological features in a variety of terrains using a suite of techniques, all available through generic geographical information system or image processing software. These comprise elevation shading using constrained colour ramps, slope analysis, hill-shading, principal component analysis of multi-azimuth hill-shading, local relief models and solar insolation modelling. The strengths and weaknesses of each technique are discussed and a generic toolkit, suited to the visualization of airborne LiDAR data for archaeological purposes, is presented. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.