3D MODELLING OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SMALL FINDS BY A LOW-COST RANGE CAMERA: METHODOLOGY AND FIRST RESULTS
Keywords: Close range photogrammetry, 3D modelling, Range Cameras, Structure Sensor, Small Finds
Abstract. The production of reliable documentation of small finds is a crucial process during archaeological excavations. Range cameras can be a valid alternative to traditional illustration methods: they are veritable 3D scanners able to easily collect the 3D geometry (shape and dimensions in metric units) of an object/scene practically in real-time.
This work investigates precisely the potentialities of a promising low-cost range camera, the Structure SensorTM by Occipital, for rapid modelling archaeological objects. The accuracy assessment was thus performed by comparing the 3D model of a Cipriot-Phoenician globular jug captured by this device with the 3D model of the same object obtained through photogrammetry.
In general, the performed analysis shows that Structure Sensor is capable to acquire the 3D geometry of a small object with an accuracy comparable at millimeter level to that obtainable with the photogrammetric method, even though the finer details are not always correctly modelled. The texture reconstruction is instead less accurate. In the end, it can be concluded that the range camera used for this work, due to its low-cost and flexibility, is a suitable tool for the rapid documentation of archaeological small finds, especially when not expert users are involved.