Andreas Jonas1 / Peter Ferschin1 / Iman Kulitz2

(1Institute of Architectural Sciences, Vienna University of Technology, Austria / 2Department Cairo, German Archaeological Institute, Germany)

Panoramic photography is an easy to use and competitive alternative to conventional computer-aided archaeological documentation and presentation techniques.
Its lightweight equipment and independency from electricity provides it as an ideal outdoor tool for excavation purposes.
In combination with other 3D techniques it can easily be extended to a powerful yet userfriendly reconstruction facility.
Previous field-tests have proved the reliability of consumer equipment under severe excavation conditions.
Nevertheless a few challenging tasks had to be accomplished.
The panorama-technique always deals with the problem of direct light versus low-light situations (usually shadow areas), which can be found in extreme situations of sun exposure as on excavation sites in regions like Egypt.
A general approach to handle these conditions is the use of high-dynamic-range images, which provide a higher level of information of the color spectrum. These pictures can be computer-generated from a series of low-dynamic-range pictures or processed directly by special hdr-cameras.
The second issue in archaeology is to handle situations with barely any light, as for example inside tombs.
Based on the idea of “light-painting” (a torch light illuminates a picture, taken in lowlightconditions with a long exposure time), the “flashdome”-technique was developed and evaluated.
This paper will treat some of these problems and will highlight technical approaches to achieve satisfying panoramic results. Classical panorama-techniques will be extended with new custom-made technologies and combined with state of the art 3D-modelling and presentation methods on selected examples from excavation sites in Egypt.