Documenting Archaeological Contexts with 3D Photography

Author(s): R. P. Stephen Davis Jr.

Year: 2017


Photography has long been one of the best tools archaeologists have for creating a visual record of excavations and contexts in the field. In recent years a variety of new techniques, from laser scanning to photogrammetry, have been developed and employed throughout the world that now allow archaeologists to create a three-dimensional photographic record. This paper explores one such technique—structure from motion—that has been used for mapping and to document excavated contexts at the late precontact Wall site in North Carolina. Structure from motion permits the construction of highly detailed, geo-referenced, photo-realistic models using affordable software and field photographs taken with an ordinary digital camera common to all archaeological projects. Such models are much more than simply three-dimensional representations of the real world; they contain dense geo-spatial data that can be easily extracted and used in a variety of analytically useful ways.

Cite this Record

Documenting Archaeological Contexts with 3D Photography. R. P. Stephen Davis Jr.. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428892)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15942