Use of Ultraviolet Imaging to Enhance Analysis of Incised Stone Artifacts

Author(s): Rory Becker; George Holley; Jakob Jensen

Year: 2017


Monochrome ultraviolet (UV) photography provides a new method in the analysis of incised imagery on stone artifacts. In this study, the technique is used to enhance the interpretation of figures on a collection of finely incised catlinite tablets from the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota. The nine hand-sized tablets included here are commonly associated with the Oneota tradition, although these display designs rooted in Plains themes. These tablets are ideal for the method as they bear multiple, sometimes overlapping, incised designs that are subsequently marred by scratching/cutting. A comparison of traditional methods with the monochrome UV imagery shows a high level of detail in the UV photography that is not readily discernible using traditional methods. Marks and incised lines visible in the UV imagery but not visible in the color photography, or to the aided or unaided eye, inform both the manufacture process and interpretation of figures identified on the tablets.

Cite this Record

Use of Ultraviolet Imaging to Enhance Analysis of Incised Stone Artifacts. Rory Becker, George Holley, Jakob Jensen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428838)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15037