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Photogrammetry All the Way Down: Multiscalar and Multiplatform Photogrammetry as Primary Spatial Registry in a Large Excavation Project

Author(s): Jordan Downey ; Oliver R. Hegge ; Kari Lentz ; Steven A. Wernke

Year: 2017

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Summary

In 2016, a large excavation project was carried out at the site of Mawchu Llacta in the Colca Valley of southern Peru. A colonial reduccíon (planned town), Mawchu Llacta is a large site with plazas, chapels, a parish, and domestic compounds. These spaces all consist of complex standing architecture in varying degrees of preservation. Eleven excavation blocks were opened to better understand ritual and everyday life in the town. The extent and distribution of the excavations, however, presented the significant challenge of how to document large-scale, multi-team excavations dispersed around the site. We present a photogrammetry-centered solution, focusing on an integrated workflow for multiscalar and multiplatform photogrammetry, from UAS-based documentation of the whole site, to detailed recording of excavations. All excavation blocks were serially documented using photogrammetry to create high-precision 3D models of the entire process, starting from the surface and continuing all the way down through the end of excavations. These models were integrated with an RTK GNSS mapping system for plotting ground control points, individual contexts, and individual artifacts. In this paper we demonstrate our workflow with specific examples at each scale and distinct contexts. Finally, we offer suggestions for other archaeologists interested in implementing these methods.


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Photogrammetry All the Way Down: Multiscalar and Multiplatform Photogrammetry as Primary Spatial Registry in a Large Excavation Project. Jordan Downey, Oliver R. Hegge, Kari Lentz, Steven A. Wernke. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432083)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16553

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America