Sarah Michelle DUFFY

(The University of York, United Kingdom)

Outline: Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM) is a valuable heritage documentation technology which I have proven to be feasible and sustainable as a recording tool at Chersonesos, Ukraine.

In this poster, I intend to summarize the findings of a research project in which I assessed the feasibility and sustainability of using Polynomial Texture Map (PTM) technology as aheritage documentation tool at Chersonesos, Ukraine. Chersonesos is an ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine site located in southern Ukraine in Crimea that was continuously inhabited for a nearly two thousand year period beginning as early as the fifth century BC until its abrupt destruction in the thirteenth century AD. A Polynomial Texture Map (PTM) is a compilation of multiple digital photographs created with Reflection Transformation Imaging (RTI). Using a mathematical method, a computer program synthesizes the data from the photographs, compiling all of information into one 2D interactive file that, when viewed through PTM viewing software, reveals surface texture and fine detail sometimes not even visible to the naked eye. This case study demonstrates the benefits of the Highlight-RTI (HRTI) capture method: that it can be carried out on a small budget with an easily transported tool kit thus allowing heritage documentation at remote sites such as Chersonesos. PTM has generally been used to document smaller objects. However, in this case study, larger objects were selected to test the feasibility of using PTM as a digital documentation tool within the field of historic preservation. Furthermore, I conducted a survey on the PTM methodology including interviewing local students, specialist and staff members, specifically asking questions about their impressions and opinions of using PTM technology at Chersonesos.
Cumulatively, a literature-based comparison of PTM to other documentation methods in terms of capabilities, the case study at Chersonesos, and survey results from those who would be using the PTMs indicate that PTM provides a relatively richer source of information about surface detail than other documentation technologies. Through my research, I was able to establish PTM to be both a feasible and sustainable documentation tool at Chersonesos, Ukraine.

Keywords: PTM, Heritage Documentation, Technology, Recording