Volumetric (3D) Recording

A key innovation of the Kaymakçı Archaeological Project (KAP) in developing the KAP Recording System in 2014 was its process of recording archaeological excavation in volumetric, 3D detail. Adopting a digital photogrammetric approach that leveraged quickly advancing Structure from Motion (SfM) processing via Agisoft software, field methods intend to enable highly accurate spatial documentation of excavation units (“spatial contexts”) using only digital tools. This means that time-consuming positional measurements using tape measures, string levels, and the like—not to mention pencil and paper—are unnecessary while in the field, because they can be calculated on the fly and whenever necessary from the fully digitized record. Subsequent recombination of the top and bottom surfaces of each excavation unit into an encapsulated volumetric entity—a time-consuming process in itself—allows the visualization of the original archaeological record in all its volumetric detail, enabling its virtual reconfiguration and re-excavation, turning the well-known archaeological trope “excavation is destruction” into “excavation is digitization.”

Affiliated team personnel

Gary Nobles, Oxford Archaeology
Catherine Scott, Brandeis University