Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computer hunt for rock carvings

15.09.2006
A new imaging technique is helping archaeologists to find, interpret and conserve rock carvings in digital format
By Christina B. Winge
The technology that archaeologists and ICT researchers have recently adopted is called “structured light”. It is a method that quickly and easily reads off the three-dimensional shape of an object with the aid of a camera and a video projector. The images are transferred to a computer, which constructs a detailed three-dimensional model of the object. The method is normally used in reverse engineering, the process of making a 3D computer model of an existing physical object. It has also been used for product quality control, for example in the engineering industry.

Kalle Sognnes, a professor of archaeology at NTNU, is extremely pleased with the help he has received from SINTEF research scientist Øystein Skotheim, and he believes that the new method will arouse the interest of archaeologists elsewhere, not least because the imaging technique helps researchers to see more than the human eye can manage alone. This will make it easier to reveal scratches that otherwise would have been difficult to see . The method also allows more details of such scratchings.

Need for modernisation

The background for the trials of the new system is that NTNU’s archaeologists needed better, more modern methods of documenting and characterising rock carvings. They therefore contacted SINTEF’s Dept. of Optical Measurement Systems and Data Analysis, which suggested trying out imaging with structured light. After a few preliminary experiments at the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology in Trondheim, the researchers are extremely pleased with the system.

The method makes it possible to retain the three-dimensional characteristics of rock carving for the future, using relatively inexpensive existing equipment. A problem is that rock carvings break down and are weakened in the course of time. Another important advantage is that the equipment is easy to transport and to rig up and dismantle.

“We know that other archaeology groups have tried to do the same thing with less advanced laser equipment, such equipment is time-consuming to use, and it is not easy to bring it out into the field,” says Sognnes.

More revealing

In many rock carving fields, scratches have been made at several levels on the same spot, which means that a rock carving may hide another older one lying below it. Going “into depth” with the computer model makes it possible to identify, for example, whether the carvings have been made using different types of tool or with different techniques, and thus during different epochs.

Skotheim adds that this method of imaging and processing data from ancient monuments will make it possible to produce virtual exhibitions on the Internet, or to feed data directly into a milling machine to produce exact full-scale copies of the originals. This could bring antiquities within the reach of many more people than hitherto.

Aase Dragland | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sintef.no

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>