Ángel M. FELICÍSIMO | María-Eugenia POLO | Trinidad TORTOSA | Alicia RODERO
(University of Extremadura, Institute of Archaeology of Mérida and National Archaeological Museum of Madrid, Mérida, Spain)

Keywords: Digital photography, Graphic documentation, Rollout photograph

Peripheral or rollout photography is a non-destructive technique that aims to “unroll” the surface of an object in order to represent it on a flat surface and to obtain a more comprehensive and continuous view of the object’s decorative motifs. This technique is especially useful when applied to cylindrical objects. Rollout photography was developed in the mid-twentieth century and was further developed in 1970 when Justin Kerr made a series of hundreds of rollouts of Mayan vessels that can be seen in http://www.mayavase.com/. Recently, this process has been simplified with the advent of digital photography. Currently, it is possible not only to use conventional cameras but also to work with filters and digital treatments that go beyond the traditional photo. Digital rollout image in archaeology offers the opportunity to completely visualize decoration, thereby providing detailed analysis and documentation by allowing the integration of iconographic content of three-dimensional structures with decorations in all sides, shown by the same two-dimensional aesthetic narration. This poster will present the methodology necessary to obtain high-resolution rollout images considering all technical aspects from the photo shoot to digital processing. In addition to highlighting issues that have not always been accurately addressed, such as colour calibration, we will show our own development techniques to merge and “unwind” the images. Finally, we will explain how the application of specific filters (e.g., DStretch) can reveal aspects of decoration that are not clearly visible in the conventional image, improving its documentation and thus providing a thorough reading for the study of these collections. This process will be applied to the so-called “The Warriors´ Cup” of Archena (Cabezo del Tío Pío, Murcia, Spain), a large Iberian kalathos from the Hellenistic period decorated in ochre tones, which is currently exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid.

Relevance for the conference: We explain some useful methods (rollout photography and DStretch filter) to display the archaeological object from other point of view in exhibitions.
Relevance for the session: We compare the same method (rollout photography) both from the analog and digital perspective using conventional and digital cameras showing 3D information on a flat surface.
Innovation: The improvement of the rollout process using digital cameras and the application of specific filters (DStretch) that can make pictographs visible although are nearly invisible to the naked eye.