(1Oxford Archaeology North, UK / 2The Pennsylvania State University, USA)

Keywords: Akko, 3D documentation, photogrammetry, archaeology

Tel Akko, a major Mediterranean maritime center, is situated southeast of the modern town of Akko, Israel. Large scale excavations on the mound from 1973 to 1989 yielded remains spanning the Early Bronze through Hellenistic periods (ca. 3000 BCE – 100 BCE). Beginning in 2010, the renewed excavations at Tel Akko Total Archaeology Project under the auspices of the University of Haifa and directed by A.E. Killebrew and M. Artzy (University of Haifa), implemented a multi-faceted approach to investigating Akko’s past that includes systematic excavation, an intensive pedestrian survey, a robust conservation plan, and the development of a cutting edge multi-dimensional 3D documentation program.
The recording system has been designed to address the needs of recording very complex and deep stratigraphy in the excavations, to integrate this with landscape surveys across the rest of the tell, and to link in with archival data from previous excavations. Key to this has been the storage and manipulation of 3D data within a project GIS system, which is connected to a tabular filemaker database to deal with the recording of the day to day narrative and of finds data. The primary 3D graphic data is created by means of photogrammetry and uses innovative and state of the art software (Agisoft PhotoScan) to generate modelled surfaces at each stage of the excavation and of the overall tell. This process utilizes digital aerial photography that is captured alternately from a photographic mast, a balloon and from a small, remote controlled hexacopter. The resulting 3D interactive record produces a total record of the excavated data, provides a valuable legacy record of Tel Akko’s archaeological features, and creates an effective public presentational tool.