Advanced Imaging of Saudi Arabian Petroglyphs: How Science Informs Art.

Author(s): Sandra Olsen

Year: 2017


How petroglyph images are recorded in the field is instrumental for analysis, archiving and publishing data. Being prepared to implement multiple advanced imaging techniques provides numerous advantages. Because lighting conditions, preservation and manufacturing techniques vary from one petroglyph locality to the next, having the flexibility to apply different imaging options as appropriate greatly facilitates data retrieval. Many archaeological projects require that the bulk of the image analysis is done after returning from the field, and it may be difficult, costly, or even impossible to revisit sites, so initially capturing the maximum amount of information is critical. Keeping a well-organized digital archive when different techniques are employed is also critical. Better imagery greatly enhances the readers’ comprehension of the scientist’s publications. Developing a website that shares images with colleagues around the world promotes new collaborations and accelerates scientific progress. In this study, high-resolution gigapan panoramic photography, reflectance transformation imaging, 3D laser scanning, and illustration directly from digital photos using a professional pen tablet are discussed. The examples given are from an ongoing research project over much of western Saudi Arabia, where a wide temporal range is represented and styles of creating the art vary from one region to the next.

Cite this Record

Advanced Imaging of Saudi Arabian Petroglyphs: How Science Informs Art.. Sandra Olsen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429205)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13282