The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIV-M-1-2020
24 Jul 2020
 | 24 Jul 2020


L. Gilabert-Sansalvador, R. Montuori, and A. L. Rosado-Torres

Keywords: Uxmal, Vault, Photogrammetry, Digital, Construction, Stonework

Abstract. Studying Maya architecture from a constructive perspective reveals new insights into the ancient building techniques and processes. Gaining deep knowledge of these structures is key to assessing the current conservation state of the buildings and to designing strategies for the excavation and preservation of this heritage. In order to study the Maya vault system, considering its regional variants and technical development over time, we performed field data collections at 48 Maya Lowlands archaeological sites with the aim of documenting and comparing constructive techniques from different areas and chronological periods. Surveying some of these buildings with digital photogrammetry made it possible to obtain geometrically accurate models with a high-quality texture that were used to measure, analyze and compare the features of the vaults in detail. The main advantage of this survey methodology is that it permits to achieve a high amount of information with affordable instruments. From the models obtained, a thorough analysis of stonemasonry techniques, stereotomy solutions and building processes was carried out, considering their implications for the stability and conservation of the structures. This paper presents the survey methodology used and an example of the constructive analysis of a vaulted building from a photogrammetric model.