Education, Conservation, and Research on Easter Island through Three-Dimensional Photogrammetry


For fifteen years, Terevaka Archaeological Outreach (TAO) has provided local students from Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) with hands-on experience to: (1) offer experiential learning opportunities about the local cultural and natural resources; (2) promote awareness and expertise in conservation measures and sustainable development; and (3) document and study the modern and ancient natural and cultural resources of the island. Three-dimensional ortho-corrected photogrammetry (3D OCP) is a valuable technology within archaeology, which is relatively cheap and accessible. Digital and physical models produced through 3D OCP serve as powerful educational tools, making cultural heritage more accessible to a range of interested parties, especially the local community.

Students who participated in the 2016 and 2017 TAO seasons photographed hundreds of artifacts at the island’s only museum (Museo Antropológico Padre Sebastián Englert), as well as archaeological features and sites located across the landscape. TAO students are now using 3D OCP to create a collection of digital and physical 3D replicas on the island—for educational, conservation, and research purposes—accessible to the local community members, the tourism industry, and archaeologists. This research conveys the potential for archaeologists to help empower local communities, as well as enhance archaeological research potential through non-destruction, cutting-edge technology.

Cite this Record

Education, Conservation, and Research on Easter Island through Three-Dimensional Photogrammetry. Kelsey Sullivan, Britton L. Shepardson, Mario Tuki, Paula Valenzuela Contreras, Francisco Torres Hochstetter. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444894)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: 153.633; min lat: -51.399 ; max long: -107.578; max lat: 24.207 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21162