It has been a while since a news post, so some of these might not really be “new”s, but rather interesting articles in the field that you might have missed. Additionally there are some old projects or articles I have only ran into now which I am posting along with the news.
Here’s the first batch. I will do another one soon as this post is getting long and there are still quite a few articles worth posting.
Articles directly related
- Precise GPS helps archaeologists map bulldozed site: Researchers survey Hosn Niha (a Roman-Byzantine site in Lebanon that has been damaged by war) using differential GPS to map the architectural fragments.
- Antarctic Explorer’s Notebook Found And Restored After 100 Years In Ice: The journal of George Murray Levick, a South Pole explorer, has been discovered and its contents have been digitized.
- Aluminum Debris from Amelia Earhart’s Plane Found: Piece of aluminum debris found on Nikumaroro is believed to be from Amelia Earhart’s aircraft. Sonar imaging is being used to determine if the aluminium did actually belong to the aircraft.
- Animal Fat Residue Detected on 500,000-Year-Old Tools: Fat residue has been detected in ancient tools using Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectra technology.
- Major Early Roman Fort Discovered in Italy: LIDAR images have revealed a Roman fort near Trieste, Italy.
- Study of Foot Bones May Offer Evolutionary Insights: scientists in Johannesburg, South Africa (yeii, computational archaeology in my city) have combined skills in visualization techniques, engineering principles, and statistical analysis to study the structure of long bones and human bipedalism.
- High-Tech Tools Map Baptistery of St. John: A 3D map of the Baptistery of St. John in Florence has been created using LIDAR technology, ultra-high-resolution photography, and thermal imaging. Additionally, ground-penetrating radar was used to explore an unexcavated area of the site, revealing a possible stair case, walls and rooms
- Oldest Roman military fort: airborne lasers uncover fort from 178BC: A team used LIDAR technology to identify the location of a roman fort. Additionally, the team used ground penetrating radar to study the underground structure.
- Experiments using a Quadcopter for Archaeological Aerial Photography: A blog post talking about Alan Thomson’s personal project where he uses a quadcopter to take aerial images of archaeological sites.
- World’s Oldest Blood Found in Famed “Iceman” Mummy: A nano-size probe was used to analyse the wounds of an iceman mummy, resulting in a 3D image of the wound.
Articles indirectly related
- Autonomous underwater robot inspired by Star Trek crew hierarchy: MIT engineers have built an autonomous underwater robot, whose decision making algorithm is based on the crew hierarchy of Star Trek. This is relevant to computational archaeology as robots like this could be used to explore underwater sites, just like our friends in Star Trek explore the universe. Hopefully the team has a guy called Scotty assigned to retrieve the robot post-exploration.
- Oculus Rift and robotic heads combination for exploration: A robotic bust mounted on a four-wheeled, battery-powered cart has been built by University of Pennsylvania students. This robot’s movements are mapped to an Oculus Rift, making the wearer of the Oculus Rift able to virtually explore the same locations as the robot. T%he wearer controls the movement of the camera by moving his/her head to look around. This could be useful to computational archaeology as some sites may not be accessible by a human, yet need to be analysed in detail by one. The robot would allow the archaeologist explore the inaccessible site in more detail, rather than struggle to angle the camera of an ROV using a control remote.
- Underwater Mass Spectrometer Successfully Integrates with Bluefin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle: This article describes the benefits of integrating underwater mass spectrometer with autonomous underwater vehicles. In short, this integration results in a cost-feasible solution to underwater surveys and increased quality of data.
- The Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project: A team researching the submerged ancient town of Pavlopetri. Greece. This project has performed a digital underwater survey, as mentioned in their 2009 overview and 2010 overview, which includes 3D models from the data collected using stereo-photogrammetric equipment. Here is a documentary done by BBC on the project (only available in the UK). Here are part 1 and part 2 of the documentary (hopefully available to everyone else).
- 2005 SeaBED AUV survey of Classical Greek wreck: A team was called to use an autonomous underwater vehicle to survey an ancient greek shipwreck in order to demonstrate the efficiency of robotic underwater surveys.
- Integrated Systems for Marine Environment: A group that performs research in marine exploration, including archaeology specific applications.
- City beneath the wavers: Pavlopetri: (Related to the first project mentioned above) This is a podcast discussing the research done by the Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project.
- Archaeologica audio news 1st of March: This news podcast mentions a city in honduras recently discovered using LIDAR technology. Here is an article about it too.