Friday, April 1, 2016, 9:00AM – 5:30 PM McHenry Library, Room 4286 UC Santa Cruz Campus
Organizers: Elaine Sullivan, UC Santa Cruz, J. Cameron Monroe, UC Santa Cruz
Keynote: Ruth Tringham, Creative Director, Center for Digital Archaeology
Presentation: Michael Ashley, Director of Technology, Center for Digital Archaeology

Admission is FREE and open to the public. Advance registration is required using the link provided below.

Conference Theme:

The past decade has witnessed a dramatic surge in the availability and use of digital technologies in Archaeology, where the increasing power and declining cost of computing technology has transformed the way we think about collecting, analyzing, and presenting archaeological data. While many technologies have been adopted and adapted into the field, the potential for 3D modeling is still being explored. This conference asks leading innovators in the use of 3D research methods to present and evaluate the impact and future of this new technology on the study of the past.


Michael Ashley, Center for Digital Archaeology; Edward González-Tennant, Digital Heritage Interactive; Susan Kuzminsky, UC Santa Cruz, Nicola Lercari, UC Merced; Tom Levy, UC San Diego; Bernard K. Means, Virginia Commonwealth University; Rachel Opitz, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies; John Rick, Stanford University; Elaine Sullivan, UC Santa Cruz; Willeke Wendrich, UC Los Angeles Keynote Address by Ruth Tringham, UC Berkeley

Call For Digital Presentations

In addition to the above speakers, we invite submissions for a small number of digital presentations focusing on methodological issues in 3D archaeology. These presentations will be presented in a digital “poster-session” in which presenters will use a devoted widescreen LCD. As such, we discourage traditional powerpoint presentations or simple posters, but rather encourage presentations that will make maximum use of the flexibility afforded by a digital presentation mode. We particularly encourage submissions from graduate students, and small travel stipend is available to defray costs for graduate student presenters. To ensure full consideration, abstracts should be submitted online by February 19th using the link below.
Submit an Abstract for the Digital Poster Session

Michael Ashley and Adam Prins

3D Field Documentation: Millimeter Accuracy at the Locus Level

The Jezreel Valley Regional Project (JVRP) has developed a workflow by which each individually-excavated locus is documented in 3D with millimeter accuracy. The method demonstrates that it is now possible to reliably document all archaeological contexts, at any scale, in the field, in real time, without needing overly-expensive equipment or a team of computer scientists. The workflow produces color-accurate, ‘born-archival’ images, 3D datasets in real world coordinate space, orthographic photos for annotation and drawing, and a full accounting of the archaeological process. Structure from Motion is gaining traction as a viable tool for archaeological documentation, but its use has generally been limited to architecture, large features, and/or fully-exposed layers. At its 2015 excavations at Legio, a Roman legionary fort in northern Israel, the JVRP successfully experimented with producing a full 3D model of each locus, every time a locus was changed, in under 10 minutes of total recording time. This allows for significantly greater methodological control, as every step of excavation is preserved in photo-realistic 3D. These models reflect field decisions, while providing a permanent data-rich record of every discovery–before, during, and after exposure.
While still in the field, 2D orthophotos generated from these models are used to produce final plans of the site with significantly better accuracy than manually-measured hand-drawings. Contexts are thus fully documented and ready for publication within hours, all in the field. Moreover, the multi-dimensional data captured will yield untold benefits for years to come as new processing methods are refined and invented.