Notes from Spain – Tuesday July 13th

13 07 2010

Yesterday in the field we spent a hard morning hiking into the site with students carrying equipment on the 45 minute hike that goes through very rocky and hilly terrain. We took into the site several (6) total stations, an RTK GPS and rover base set-up, two laser scanners (medium and long-range), and two photogrammetric setups. Travis and I decided to watch the Italian and the Greek professors and international student teams that were doing the photogrammetry. We were concentrating on the main church section of the site which includes several decorative archways. There are a number of building episodes and ‘wall stratigraphy’ to decipher, and it is hoped that the ultra high-resolution detail obtained from the stereo and orthorectified imagery will allow for detailed analyses of the building history. Photogrammetry is a new methodology for us and we are so fortunate to be learning and observing from world-leading authorities. The students are in mixed groups, but all have skill sets relating to cartography, archaeology, architecture, and survey methodologies. Some are PhD students who offer advanced skill sets and assist in the training and development of the other students. The site is truly used as a case study, with the students determining in large part the best documentation approaches and being cross-trained on different methodologies. This school is well-organized and put together and we are fortunate to be part of the endeavor.

 In the evening, Travis was one of three professors to provide the first set of lectures for the group, including local political authorities, dignitaries and representatives from multiple universities in the area. Travis spoke on public archaeology, and used case studies from our own work in Mexico and Guatemala on using technologies to bridge the gaps between multiple stakeholders and the inclusion of tangible and intangible heritage aspects in projects. His talk was very well received and lots of input and thoughts from the students, invited persons, and peer collaborators. My talk will be on Thursday night and I will present some of the more technical and methodological and analytical approaches from projects involving the documentation of stone architecture and monuments (very applicable to this field school work). After Travis’ talk, the professors and field school representatives went out into the town and had a nice evening drink and lots of discussion that lasted fairly late into the evening. We are making new inroads for USF with our European colleagues and are planning to be able to involve USF students at a high level in next year’s field work.

Today (Tuesday) our field work included medium range scanning in the crypt area of the site, and Travis and I observed and assisted with the workflow, setup, and discussion of processing and analysis of the finalized data. The instrumentation being used is new for us, although the methods and approach are similar. There is much more focus on the integration of the scanning with surveying and other methods such as photogrammetry, so we are learning a lot from the experience. Our 30-40 minute hike out is getting easier, and downhill on the way out was easier. We are enjoying some free time this evening and another day of scanning planned for tomorrow.





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