Ceramics Fragments Digitization by Photogrammetry, Reconstructions and Applications

Research paper by Jean-Baptiste Barreau, Théophane Nicolas, G Bruniaux, E Petit, Q Petit, Y Bernard, Ronan Gaugne, Valérie Gouranton

Indexed on: 03 Dec '14Published on: 03 Dec '14Published in: Computer Science - Graphics


This paper presents an application of photogrammetry on ceramic fragments from two excavation sites located north-west of France. The restitution by photogrammetry of these different fragments allowed reconstructions of the potteries in their original state or at least to get to as close as possible. We used the 3D reconstructions to compute some metrics and to generate a presentation support by using a 3D printer. This work is based on affordable tools and illustrates how 3D technologies can be quite easily integrated in archaeology process with limited financial resources. 1. INTRODUCTION Today, photogrammetry and 3D modelling are an integral part of the methods used in archeology and heritage management. They provide answers to scientific needs in the fields of conservation, preservation, restoration and mediation of architectural, archaeological and cultural heritage [2] [6] [7] [9]. Photogrammetry on ceramic fragments was one of the first applications contemporary of the development of this technique applied in the archaeological community [3]. More recently and due to its democratization, it was applied more generally to artifacts [5]. Finally joined today by the rise of 3D printing [8] [10], it can restore fragmented artifacts [1] [12]. These examples target one or several particular objects and use different types of equipment that can be expensive. These aspects can put off uninitiated archaeologists. So it would be appropriate to see if these techniques could be generalized to a whole class of geometrically simple and common artifacts, such as ceramics. From these observations, associated to ceramics specialists with fragments of broken ceramics, we aimed at arranging different tools and methods, including photogrammetry, to explore opportunities for a cheap and attainable reconstruction methodology and its possible applications. Our first objective was to establish a protocol for scanning fragments with photogrammetry, and for reconstruction of original ceramics. We used the digital reconstitutions of the ceramics we got following our process to calculate some metrics and to design and 3D print a display for the remaining fragments of one pottery.