A 3D INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR THE DOCUMENTATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICA L EXCAVATIONS
Keywords: Laser scanners, Photogrammetry, 3d Management System, Archaeology, Conservation, 4D GIS
Abstract. Documentation of archaeological and cultural heritage sites is at the heart of the archaeological process and an important component in cultural heritage research, presentation and restorations.
In 2012 the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Aosta Valley – IT (Soprintendenza per i Beni e le Attività Culturali della Region e Autonoma Valle d'Aosta) carried out a complex archaeological excavation in a composite archaeological context, situated an urban background: the Aosta city centre.
This archaeological excavation has been characterized by the classical urban archaeological issues: little space, short time, complex stratigraphy. Moreover the investigations have come out several structures and walls that required safety and conservation measures. Ad hoc 3D solutions carried out a complete 3D survey of the area in 10 different time/situations of the Archaeological digs, chosen in collaborations with the archaeological staff. In this way a multi temporal 3D description of the site has been provided for the archaeological analysis and for the project of the restorations activities.
The 3D surveys has been carried out integrating GPS, laser scanner technology and photogrammetry. In order to meet the needs of the site, and its complex logistics and to obtain products that guarantee the high quality and detail required for archaeological analysis, we have developed different procedures and methodologies:
hdr imaging for 3D model with correct, consistent and uniform colours,
noise filtering and people filtering, for the removal of interference between laser instrument and object of the survey,
Advanced laser scanner triangulation, in order to consider both artificial and natural tie points, for a correct registration of a huge amount of scans.
Single image orientation on 3D data, in order to integrate the laser data with data coming from digital photogrammetry (faster on the field than the laser scanner survey, than used in certain situations).
The results of all these methodologies and procedures will be presented and described in the article.
For the documentation of the archaeological excavations and for the management of the conservation activities (condition assessment, planning, and conservation work). Ad Hoc 3D solutions has costumized 2 special plug-ins of its own software platform Ad Hoc: Ad Hoc Archaeology and Ad Hoc Conservation.
The software platform integrates a 3D database management system. All information (measurements, plotting, areas of interests…) are organized according to their correct 3D position. They can be queried using attributes, geometric characteristics or their spatial position.
The Ad Hoc Archaeology plug-in allows archeologists to fill out UUSS sheets in an internal database, put them in the correct location within the 3D model of the site, define the mutual relations between the UUSS, divide the different archaeological phases. A simple interface will facilitate the construction of the stratigraphic chart (matrix), in a 3D environment as well (matrix 3D).
The Ad Hoc Conservation plug-in permits conservators and restorers to create relationships between the different approaches and descriptions of the same parts of the monument, i.e.: between stratigraphyc units or historical phases and architectural components and/or decay pathologies. The 3D DBMS conservation module uses a codified terminology based on "ICOMOS illustrated glossary of stone deterioration" and other glossary. Specific tools permits restorers to compute correctly surfaces and volumes. In this way decay extension and intensity can be measured with high precision and with an high level of detail, for a correct time and costs estimation of each conservation step.