3D Delineation: A modernisation of drawing methodology for field archaeology [Paperback]

Justin J.L. Kimball(Author)

ISBN: 9781784913052 | Published by: Archaeopress Access Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2016 | 78p, H10.75 x W8, Illustrated throughout in color and black & white
Status: Print on demand, available in one week

3D Delineation: A modernisation of drawing methodology for field archaeology


A recent trend concerning archaeological research has focused on producing a real-time methodology for 3D digital models as archaeological documentation within the excavation setting. While such methodologies have now firmly been established, what remains is to examine how 3D models can be integrated more fully alongside other forms of archaeological documentation. This work explored one avenue by developing a method that combines the interpretative power of traditional archaeological drawings and the realistic visualisation capacity of 3D digital models. An experiment was initiated during archaeological excavations at Uppåkra, Sweden where photographic data was captured to produce 3D digital models through Photoscan. These models were geospatially located within ESRI’s 3D GIS ArcScene where shapefile editing tools were used to draw overtop of their surfaces in three-dimensions. All drawings closely followed the single context method of drawing, were allotted context numbers, and given descriptive geodatabase attributes. This methodology resulted in the further integration of 3D models alongside other forms of archaeological documentation. The drawings increased the communicative powers of archaeological interpretation by enabling the information to be disseminated in a 3D environment alongside other formats of data that would have otherwise been disconnected in 2D space. Finally, the database attributes permitted the drawings complete integration within the geodatabase, thereby making them available for query and other analytical procedures. Archaeological information is three-dimensional; therefore, archaeologists must begin to approach documentation bearing this in mind. This technique has demonstrated that 3D models are a fluidic form of documentation allowing for accurate preservation of archaeology while enabling new forms of data to be derived all within a limited amount of time. Archaeologists must begin to affect change towards embracing 3D models and their associated applications as a standard tool within the excavator’s toolbox.

Table of Contents



1 – Introduction

2 – State of the Art

3 – Theory

4 – Methodology

4.1 – Review of Established Methodologies and Associated Technologies

4.2 – Introduction to Utilised Technologies

4.2.1 – Camera Systems

4.2.2 – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4

4.2.3 – Agisoft’s Photoscan 1.0.4

4.2.4 – EDM Total Station

4.2.5 – ArcGIS 10.2.1

4.3 – Limitations

5 – Experiment: 3D Delineation

5.1 – General Background of Uppåkra

5.2 – Documentation Methodology at Uppåkra since 2011

5.3 – State of the Art: 3D Modelling at Uppåkra

5.4 – Experiment Overview

5.5 – Experiment Methodology

5.6 – Results Concerning 3D Archaeological Drawings

6 – Discussion

6.1 – Statement of Perceived Impact

6.1.1 – Guidelines and Symbologies for 3D Archaeological Drawing

6.2 – Cautions and Limitations

6.3 – Concerns Regarding the Photographic Process

7 – Conclusion

8 – Acknowledgments

9 – References

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