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Mapping Ancient Egyptian Sites With Gps And Imagery

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:02 am    Post subject: Mapping Ancient Egyptian Sites With Gps And Imagery Reply with quote

Mapping Ancient Egyptian Sites With Gps And Imagery

Some excerpts from the article:


Hundreds of viper trails covered the sand before them. The Egyptologists could only hope that the serpents themselves were long gone as they made their way off the ancient desert road towards the limestone cliffs.

First to reach the wall, Dr John Coleman Darnell of Yale University, was surprised to find the surface covered with rough hieroglyphic inscriptions in apparently random patterns. What did they mean?

His past experience in the field led Darnell to think the markings were graffiti. The wall was close enough to an ancient campsite to serve as the common latrine for drivers, merchants and guards. The inscriptions, over 500 counted so far, were the ancient equivalent of writing on the bathroom wall. Darnell was the first person to see that graffiti in possibly 5000 years.

...

An author of several books on Egyptology, including Tutankhamun’s Armies, with Colleen Manassa (J. Wiley and Sons, 2007), Professor Darnell is the co-director of the joint Thebian Desert Road Survey and Yale Toshka Desert Survey.

Darnell’s team is working in a harsh environment in the Western Desert, which lies to the west of the Nile in Egypt, Libya and north western Sudan. About 700,000 square km in area, the temperature can rise to over 40 degrees in the midday heat and drop towards zero at night.

...

The team uses the equipment in three ways. First, a lot of time is spent mapping the ancient desert caravan roads that run from Thebaïd to Kharga Oasis. But surveying the road doesn’t only involve drawing lines on the map.

There are ancient campsites and military outposts, some dating back 5000 years, to be identified. That means finding buildings and lots and lots of potshards. Darnell explains: ‘Broken pots were seldom recovered by their original owners, as they were un-reusable. They left them where they fell.’

With the total station, Darnell’s team could place-capture potshards almost instantly. There was no more need for the meticulous record keeping on-site, with GPS technology, a simple point-and-shoot process replaced an immense record keeping apparatus and allowed the Egyptologists to get results very quickly.

They also used the total station to situate the ancient graffiti site – which they named Kom Hefaw, meaning ‘mound of serpents’ – and the specific inscriptions at the sites (over 500 inscriptions so far).

The ability to produce a 3D record, again with a simple point-and-click, saved countless hours of measuring, situating and recording the inscriptions. And they can find their way back to an exact inscription easily.

The total station transformed the archaeologists’ efforts, from laborious manual measurements with tape and plum-bob, allowing for precise measurements in a fraction of the time. They were able to lay in their own specific grid pattern of the site. Even more significantly, the site could be revisited at any later date. This allowed for future expeditions to carry on with the efforts of previous groups.

Darnell has facilitated computerised surveying equipment since 2003. In 2007, he began using a total station – a GPT-7005i – that provides a digital image to correspond with points shot on the ground or a vertical surface, such as a building. It became possible to combine digital imagery and measurement for the first time.

On the ground, the difference was obvious immediately. At Tudenab, the team located an ancient deep well and could produce a 3D digital plan of it practically on-site.

The well was not a complex project, but they had another surprise coming. After assembling their data from the Ghueita Temple site, they were able to generate a 3D model of the temple that could be examined from any angle, whilst sitting in a hotel room in Cairo.
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In the event, the team went into the field with a Topcon GPT-2005 reflectorless total station.
Professors and students underwent training essential to prepare the group for their upcoming expedition.

Even for a non-archeologist it's obvious how time- and effort-saving such an approach is.
I started to wonder though: the equipment, the training... This must've been rather costly?
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Nefertum
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Segereh wrote:

I started to wonder though: the equipment, the training...


... a big stick to whack vipers with...
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hannamarin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for this information! it makes real sence! http://bigessaywriter.com/blog/graffiti-wall-art-or-act-of-vandalism can explain you is graffiti wall art be considered as an act of vandalism!
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A M Street
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:49 pm    Post subject: New site for article Reply with quote

Due to bitrot the site quoted by Anneke is dead.

here is the new one:

http://hierographix.net/mapping-ancient-egyptian-sites
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