Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Technology to throw new light on ancient artifacts

Date:
July 20, 2011
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
New technology which makes it possible to study the finer details of some of the world’s greatest historical artifacts has been developed by computer scientists and archaeologists.

New technology which makes it possible to study the finer details of some of the world's greatest historical artifacts has been developed by computer scientists and archaeologists at the University of Southampton in conjunction with academics at the University of Oxford.

Dr Kirk Martinez at the University of Southampton's ECS -- Electronics and Computer Science and the team have developed two Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) systems to capture images of documentary texts and archaeological material. The systems takes 76 pictures of artifacts with the light in different positions, then creates a new type or RTI image. The viewer can then move the virtual light anywhere and focus on the detail.

"Hewlett Packard Research Laboratories invented this technology a few years ago and it has been used sporadically around the world," said Dr Martinez. "What we have done is develop the technology so that it is fast enough to be usable every day in a museum situation where you have lots of objects that need scanning. "

During the course of the project, the teams scanned 100 clay tablets, most of which were typically about 5,000 years old.

"If you really wanted to look at a picture to investigate fine details at the moment without this technology, you would be hard pressed to see any detail on current archive photos -- and may need to rephotograph," said Dr Martinez.

The RTI technology systems developed by the project will allow researchers to study documentary and other artifacts remotely in great detail without being restricted by fixed lighting angles. The result will be to ensure that high-quality digital versions of these materials can be consulted by scholars worldwide.

This technology is currently being used in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and it has recently been tested in the British Museum and in the National Gallery.

The software developed for these systems will be available open source online this autumn together with a guide to making your own system.

The system can be viewed on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/ecsnews#p/a/u/1/Kqi-85U2zYs

The 12-month Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) System for Ancient Document Artefacts was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Digital Equipment and Database for Impact.

The academic team members are: Dr Graeme Earl, Dr Kirk Martinez and PhD student, Philip Basford, University of Southampton and Professor Alan Bowman, Dr Charles Crowther and Dr Jacob Dahl, University of Oxford.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Technology to throw new light on ancient artifacts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720085511.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2011, July 20). Technology to throw new light on ancient artifacts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720085511.htm
University of Southampton. "Technology to throw new light on ancient artifacts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720085511.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins