Luca BEZZI | Alessandro BEZZI | Tiziano CAMAGNA
(Arc-Team, Cles, Italy)

Keywords: Underwater Archaeology, 3D Documentation, SLAM, Open Source, Open Hardware

Underwater archaeology is probably one of the most complex branch of our discipline, due to the fact that, more than in other specific fields (e.g speleoarchaeology, glacial archaeology, etc…), the traditional and well tested methodologies have to be adapted to the peculiar characteristics of the area under examination. This paper tries to describe the common methodologies used to explore, document in 3D and analyze underwater archaeological environments, comparing them to specific case studies in which new solutions have been adopted to face logistical problems. More specifically will be analyze the use of the open Hardware ArcheoROV during different archaeological missions in 2016 and 2017, from simple exploration projects to 3D documentation with open source SfM and SLAM techniques, both of horizontal (e.g. small shipwrecks) and vertical (e.g. submerged forests) archaeological context. Moreover other open hardware tools will be described, such as a modified underwater drill to collect sampling for wood science analysis. The main purpose of the paper is to open a discussion about the differences existing in underwater archaeology, trying to focus the attention on the peculiarity of  the missions in “internal waters”, which often presents specific problems in 3D documentation, derived by the surrounding landscape (such as low visibility or different decompression time tables for high altitudes).

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
It follows an open research approach based in archeology, sharing tools (software source code and hardware schema and specifications), data (archaeological results) and knoledge (know-how).

It describes the latest developments of the open hardware ArcheoROV, with its ROS (Robot Operating System) based open source SLAM implementation.