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Adding Lasers to the Archaeological Toolkit: The Costs and Benefits of Terrestrial LiDAR in Digital Archaeology

Author(s): Patricia G Markert ; Benjamin Skolnik ; Stefan F. Woehlke

Year: 2015

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Summary

In recent years, companies such as FARO and CyArk have begun incorporating 3D laser scanners into field-ready packages.  Archaeologists have successfully employed these new 3D laser-scanning techniques to record sites such as Mount Rushmore and Merv in modern-day Turkmenistan.  Despite the potential benefits of using this technology, which produces quickly scanned, high-resolution images of topography and features, several limitations have slowed it from entering the archaeologist’s standard toolkit.  It exceeds the budget of many archaeological research projects and the large quantities of digital data recorded by these machines (often millions of points) present challenges in both manipulation and curation of these datasets.  Additionally, methodologies that incorporate these scanners as a part of excavation remain undeveloped.  This paper explores the use of a 3D laser scanner by Archaeology in Annapolis at several sites, and offers an evaluation of its successes and shortcomings as a tool to aid archaeological excavation and research.


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Adding Lasers to the Archaeological Toolkit: The Costs and Benefits of Terrestrial LiDAR in Digital Archaeology. Patricia G Markert, Benjamin Skolnik, Stefan F. Woehlke. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434089)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 533

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