New technology allows archaeologists to easily map excavation sites in 3D
May 25, 2015 by Steinar Brandslet
Photogrammetry is a method that uses two dimensional images of an archaeological find to construct a 3D model.
You don't need and special glasses or advanced equipment to use make use of this new technique. Together with precise measurements of the excavation, photogrammetry can create a complete detailed map of an archaeological excavation site.
Detailed image of a shield boss found in what is likely a Viking’s grave in Skaun. Credit: NTNU University Museum
The next step is likely to be able to put on a pair of 3D-glasses and virtually walk into an excavation site, although that may be a few years in coming.
There is one challenge, however—storing measurements digitally in a manner that will be useful for generations to come. Archaeologists working today are behind measurements and notes on excavations that may be used hundreds of years in the future. A paper photo taken 100 years ago is just as good now as it was then, as long as you have it on hand. But nobody knows if a PDF file will be of use in year 2115. But this is a challenge facing all information that is stored digitally. And it's something that we can't overcome.