Survey in the new millennium: Tools for the 21st century archaeologist

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A talk given at Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. RCHMW Seminar. A seminar organised to guide heritage managers, education and outreach officers, and museum and local government officers in Wales and further
afield through some of the newest technologies available for researching and promoting heritage sites. This was done through the medium of papers presented by key speakers who talked through practical examples where such technologies have been used, what their problems and experiences may have been and the practical outcomes for communities or heritage managers

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Survey in the new millennium: Tools for the 21st century archaeologist

  1. 1. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Survey in the new millennium Paul Cripps •Geomatics Manager, Wessex Archaeology •PGR student, University of Southampton, Archaeological Computing Research Group Tools for the 21st century archaeologist
  2. 2. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Overview • Why? – Why do we use laser- scanners? – What are the benefits/problems? • How? – How do we use the tools available? • Case studies – Objects – Buildings – Landscapes – Analysis
  3. 3. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Why?
  4. 4. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. An additional survey tool • Laser scanners provide additional survey tools – Not universal panacea – Ideal for capturing large amounts of surface measurements – Part of an armoury which includes TST, GPS and laser scanners • Complementary not replacement – Typically used as part of a survey methodology – Typically used in conjunction with other survey equipment
  5. 5. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Right tools for the job • Laser scanners record surfaces – cf traditional recording of lines and edges using TST/GPS – Surface recording ideally suited to many heritage applications – eg buildings, earthworks, landscapes, objects • Laser scanners are very fast – Large volumes of high precision data captured – High speed data capture • Variety of scanners suited to different purposes: – Close-range or triangulating – Time of flight or LiDAR – Many manufacturers: Leica, Cyra, Konica Minolta, Reigl, etc
  6. 6. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Some scanners • Leica Scanstation II – 360° horizontal scanning range – 270° vertical scanning range – Sites, buildings, topographic • Riegl Z360 – 360° horizontal scanning range – 90° vertical scanning range – Sites, buildings, topographic • Minolta VI-900 scanner – Behaves more like a camera, recording position of an emitted stripe of laser light – Very high 170µ resolution (0.17mm) – Objects, surface detail
  7. 7. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. How?
  8. 8. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Practicalities • Costs of ownership – Expensive hardware and software – Hire vs purchase – Partnerships • Skills – Survey design – Field survey – Data processing • Data – Massive datasets
  9. 9. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Workflow 1 • Careful survey design required – Placement of scan stations • Field survey – Reduced time vs TST/GPS • Post-processing – Registration – Decimation • Analysis – GIS or CAD
  10. 10. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Workflow 2 • Different approach from traditional survey • Captures data regardless of product or purpose – Determined by machine used and settings applied • No need for repeat surveys to produce alternative products – reusable data • Choice of survey points becomes office based – Select from point cloud – cf TST/GPS choice of points field based • Reduced time in the field vs increased time in the office – Overall reduction in time…?
  11. 11. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Products and outputs • Point cloud capable of supporting range of outputs – Contour plots – CAD drawings and extracted vectors, including elevation drawings, at any scale – Solid modelling and fitting of primitives – Wireframe models – Digital Surface Models (DSMs) including Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) suitable for use in GIS • Archival datasets – ASCII text – Big Data!
  12. 12. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Case studies
  13. 13. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Buildings: Tidworth garrison • Record garrison in advance of redevelopment • Largest archaeological laser scan as of June 2007 • Visualisation of existing buildings and their context • 0.75 km2 surveyed • 37 buildings • 25 billion measurements • 18Gb data file • 10-25mm effective resolution Point cloud of the barracks (56251)
  14. 14. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Integrated approach: Stonehenge • Multi scale – Upstanding megaliths (time-of-flight scanner) – Details of megalith surfaces (triangulating scanner) – Landscape (airborne LiDAR) • Novel analysis – Accessibility shading • Dissemination – Animations – Rendered views
  15. 15. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Stonehenge carvings Left: (top to bottom) stone 3, stone 3 with ‘axes’ highlighted, stone 53 and stone 4 Above: stone 3 lit from below Right: accessibility shading
  16. 16. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Buildings: Orcheston church • Evaluation of technology back in 2001 • Tested range of outputs and extraction of vectors Point cloud Vector model Surface model
  17. 17. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Objects: Amesbury Archer bones • Morphological analysis of skull – Cross-sections – Measurements – Profiles
  18. 18. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Landscape: South Wales • 19 airborne LiDAR datasets • 40km2 • 133.5 million data points • 2 surface models – Unfiltered elevation – Intensity Elevation component Intensity component
  19. 19. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Tree graffiti • Record and enhance tree graffiti – Historical WWI and WWII graffiti warped by tree growth • Unwrapping…? – R&D – Challenging!
  20. 20. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Topographic survey: Hamdon Hill • Topographic survey of earthworks • Hillfort containing quarry • Combination approach: Laser scanner + GPS
  21. 21. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Topographic survey: Salisbury Plain • R&D in collaboration with Leica • Effectiveness as topographic survey tool • Vegetation removal
  22. 22. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. Integration & Analysis: GIS • Integrate multiple sources – Aerial photos, survey data, remote sensing, terrains, HER data, OS data, etc • GIS-based analysis – Viewshed & visual sensitivity – Water flow & hydrology – Erosion/Deposition models – Slope/Aspect/Elevation calculations – Cross-sections and profiles • Environment Agency LiDAR DTMs – Detailed terrain models ideally suited – Unfiltered data contains modern ‘clutter’
  23. 23. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/ Wessex Archaeology Digital Past: New Technologies in Heritage, Interpretation and Outreach. February 25th 2009. fin • Thanks to: – English Heritage – Archaeoptics – 3D Laser Mapping – Environment Agency – Warner Land Surveys – Leica

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