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Photogrammetry in the field: Documenting, recording, and presenting archaeology

  • Author(s): Howland, MD;
  • Kuester, F;
  • Levy, TE
  • et al.

The development of three-dimensional documentation technologies such as LiDAR and Structure from Motion (essentially digital photogrammetry) has led to a recording revolution, as these methods are increasingly applied to field archaeology. 3D methods have the potential to become an integral part of the archaeological toolkit, as they have the capability to produce spatially-referenced outputs, such as orthophotos and digital elevation models (DEMs), with greater efficiency than traditional methods. The combination of Structure from Motion and low-altitude aerial photography can facilitate the production of these GIS outputs, which can then be used for digitization or as basemaps. These methods allow for accurate and precise recording with a relative minimum of field time. As the existing body of 3D data increases in size, museums have the unique opportunity to be able to take advantage of these datasets to update their exhibits and display archaeological context and the process of excavation through visualizations of 3D models. The spread of 3D documentation and recording in archaeology may provide a unique opportunity for collaboration between these two professions, and allow for archaeology to improve its public outreach. The methodology presented here is based on field research in Jordan.

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