Drones in Archaeology

Type
Article

Authors
Smith, Neil
Passone, Luca
Al-Said, Said
Al-Farhan, Mohamed
Levy, Thomas E.

KAUST Department
Visual Computing Center (VCC)

Online Publication Date
2014-09-26

Print Publication Date
2014

Date
2014-09-26

Abstract
In late 2013, a joint archaeological and computer vision project was initiated to digitally capture the archaeological remains in the al-Ula valley, Saudi Arabia. The goal of our team of archeologists and computer scientists is to integrate 3D scanning technologies to produce 3D reconstructions of archaeological sites. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) serve as the vehicle which makes this scanning possible. UAVs allow the acquisition of 3D data as easily from the air as from the ground. This project focuses on the recent excavations carried out in ancient Dedan by King Saud University and the country's conservation of the Lihyanite "lion tombs" carved into the ancient city's cliff faces. Over the next several years this site will be used as a test bed to validate the potential of this emerging technology for rapid cultural heritage documentation. We additionally scanned several areas in Mada'in Saleh, an ancient Nabatean city filled with monumental carved sandstone tomb facades, rivaled only by the capital of the Nabatean empire: Petra.

Citation
Smith, N. G., Passone, L., al-Said, S., al-Farhan, M., & Levy, T. E. (2014). Drones in Archaeology: Integrated Data Capture, Processing, and Dissemination in the al-Ula Valley, Saudi Arabia. Near Eastern Archaeology, 77(3), 176–181. https://doi.org/10.5615/neareastarch.77.3.0176

Publisher
University of Chicago Press

Journal
Near Eastern Archaeology

DOI
10.5615/neareastarch.77.3.0176

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