W. Neubauer 1, A. Ullrich 2, N. Studnicka 2
(1 VIAS-Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science, University of Vienna, Austria / 2 RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH, Horn, Austria)
Archaeological field work can be separated into prospecting and excavating, both of them having the same objective of research namely to collect and interpret data of the human legacy. The archaeological heritage might be buried or visible above the ground in the form of still standing structures.
Plans and photographs with according attributable information are the main elements of a state-of-the-art documentation of archaeological monuments and sites. The 3D documentation of topography is inherent in site mapping, the documentation of historical buildings as well as in the documentation of the surface of a single deposits during a stratigraphic excavation. The photographic documentation is producing textural information on buildings, walls or the surfaces of single deposits. On the one hand we get geometrical information and, on the other hand, texture as the main elements of mapping archaeological evidence.
The latest developments combine the pros of digital photogrammetry with a digital topographic model measured by 3D laser scanning. The RIEGL LMS Z420i is a device that combines a 3D laser scanner with high-end calibrated digital cameras, thus combines the pros of 3D laser scanning with the pros of photogrammetry. The typical result of such a documentation is a colored 3D point cloud, a decimated mesh with a high resolution texture, automatically derived orthophotos and 3D wire frame models derived by process known as monoplotting.
This instrumentation is a perfect tool for the every day archaeological work, speeding up the documentation process with a precision and resolution that is far from anything conventionally used in archaeology so far. The tools will be presented with examples from world heritage sites, urban rescue excavations as well as fully stratigraphic state-of-the-art research excavations.
keywords: laser scanning, photogrammetry, cultural heritage