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Use of Photogrammetry for Non-Disturbance Underwater Survey

An Analysis of In Situ Stone Anchors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2017

Carrie Fulton
Department of Classics, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14851, USA (
Andrew Viduka
Heritage Branch, Department of the Environment, Australian Government, Canberra ACT 2601, AUS (
Andrew Hutchison
School of Design and Art, Curtin University, Bentley WA 6102, AUS (
Joshua Hollick
HIVE, Curtin University, Bentley WA 6102, AUS (
Andrew Woods
HIVE, Curtin University, Bentley WA 6102, AUS (
David Sewell
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK (
Sturt Manning
Department of Classics, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14851, USA (
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Stone anchors comprise a significant portion of observable underwater cultural heritage in the Mediterranean and provide evidence for trade networks as early as the Bronze Age. Full documentation of these anchors, however, often requires their removal from their underwater environment, especially to calculate mass. We offer a methodology for using photogrammetry to record stone anchors still in situ and calculate their approximate mass. We compare measurements derived using measuring tapes with those derived using two different software programs for photogrammetric analysis, PhotoModeler Scanner (Eos Systems, Inc.) and PhotoScan Pro (Agisoft). First, we analyze stone anchors that had previously been removed from the underwater environment to establish a reference methodology. Next, we implement this methodology in an underwater survey off the southern coastline of Cyprus. Linear measurements for both programs correlate closely with those attained via measuring tape. The resulting estimates of volume of anchors in situ and on land are slightly greater using the photogrammetric methodology than the reference volumes obtained using a water displacement methodology. Overall, as an analytical tool, this methodology generates detailed surface information in minimal time underwater and preserves data for future analysis without necessitating the removal of the anchor from its underwater environment.

Anclas de piedra forman una parte importante del patrimonio cultural subacuático observable en el Mediterráneo y proporcionan evidencia de las redes comerciales ya en la Edad del Bronce. La documentación completa de estas anclas, sin embargo, a menudo requiere la eliminación de su entorno bajo el agua, sobre todo para adquirir masa. Ofrecemos una metodología para el uso de la fotogrametría para grabar anclas de piedra todavía in situ y calcular su masa aproximada. Comparamos las mediciones obtenidas usando cintas de medición con los que se derivan utilizando dos programas de software diferentes para el análisis fotogramétrico, PhotoModeler escáner (Eos Systems, Inc.) y PhotoScan Pro (Agisoft). En primer lugar, se analizan las anclas de piedra que han sido previamente retirados del medio ambiente bajo el agua para establecer una metodología de referencia. A continuación, ponemos en práctica esta metodología en una encuesta bajo el agua frente a la costa sur de Chipre. Mediciones lineales para ambos programas se correlacionan estrechamente con los obtenidos a través de una cinta de medir. Los volúmenes resultantes de anclajes in situ y en la tierra son ligeramente mayor utilizando la metodología fotogramétrico que los volúmenes de referencia obtenidos utilizando una metodología de desplazamiento de agua. En general, como una herramienta analítica, esta metodología genera información detallada superficie en un tiempo mínimo bajo el agua y conserva los datos para el análisis futuro sin necesidad de la eliminación del anclaje de su entorno bajo el agua.

Research Article
Copyright © Society for American Archaeology 2016


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