Recreating Historic Photography as a Tool for Archaeologists

Author(s): Steven Holm

Year: 2013


Historic photography is often beautiful and steeped in history but can also be used as a tool for archaeologists in relocating structures, identifying features, and situating historic places within their modern and captured viewsheds. Photographing a site is paramount nowadays for documenting the archaeological record. We have the opportunity to exploit historic photographs for additional data beyond site documentation that can lead to better research designs, excavation planning, and site interpretation. Techniques used help correct for distortion introduced through modern camera and lens combinations as well as historic photographs. Carleton Watkins is known for his photographs and stereoscopic views of the Western United States including: San Francisco, Yosemite Valley, and Virginia City, Nevada. His 1876 panorama of Virginia City is utilized in conjunction with data collection during the 2010 field school and 2011 field season to illustrate the advantages of recreating historic photographs.

Cite this Record

Recreating Historic Photography as a Tool for Archaeologists. Steven Holm. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428577)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 604