Paper: On introducing an image-based 3D reconstruction method in archaeological excavation practice

We are very happy to announce the publication of our research paper discussing the image-based 3D recording of the Boudelo-2 excavation. The excavation explored part of a reclaimed medieval wetland which was part of the monastic outer court of the former Cistercian abbey of Boudelo. Due to the variability in archaeological features and the soil characteristics, the Boudelo-2 excavation offered ideal opportunities to test the 3D-recording workflow.  We have examined the possibilities and limitations of image-based 3D modelling over the complete recording process of an entire excavation (excavation surfaces, stratigraphy, sections, profiles and samples), and its impact on the workflow of the excavation process and the post-excavation processing.

Reference

De Reu J., De Smedt P., Herremans D., Van Meirvenne M., Laloo P., De Clercq W., 2014. On introducing an image-based 3D reconstruction method in archaeological excavation practice. Journal of Archaeological Science, 41: 251-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2013.08.020.

Abstract

Image-based 3D modeling has already proven its value for the recording of excavations, however until now its application has remained rather small-scale. We have examined the possibilities and limitations of image-based 3D modeling in the recording of an entire excavation, and its impact on the workflow of the excavation process and the post-excavation processing. Our results suggest that image-based 3D modeling can be an excellent and suitable method for the recording, documentation and visualization of the excavated archaeological heritage. It offers great possibilities for increasing the quality of the archived archaeological excavation record. The high-resolution geometric information allows a straightforward quantification of the data. However it also brings along new challenges, including a change in the workflow of the excavation and the post-excavation process. Although there are limitations, these are greatly surpassed by the possibilities of the method. We believe that image-based 3D modeling can cause a(n) (r)evolution in archaeological excavation practice.

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