years, the usage of 3D photogrammetry has become popular in archaeology
and cultural heritage management. It is an effective and low-cost method for
documenting archaeological sites, features or artefacts in the form of detailed
three-dimensional models. The importance of this method of documentation has
even become more crucial in times of crisis or conflict, where a quick and efficient
method of documentation is needed.
Hence, in the framework of the project “Zero
Hour: A Future for the Time After the Crisis” of the IT department of the
German Archaeological Institute (DAI), and in cooperation with the Lebanese Directorate
General of Antiquities (DGA) a training on Recording
Cultural Heritage for Post-Conflict Recovery by using 3D photogrammetry with UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) was
held in Beirut from 25 to 29 November 2019.
Twelve employees of the DGA took part in this training, which was conducted by two
instructors from the Archaeocopter Team. The focus was on
up-to-date technologies for recording and documenting cultural heritage and
consisted mainly of two thematic parts: 3D photogrammetry and UAV
part dealt with the application of Structure from Motion (SfM), better known as
3D photogrammetry, in archaeology. Participants learned to document
archaeological contexts and objects in three dimensions and photorealistic
In the second practical part of the training the participants learnt how to fly and control UVA, so-called drones, and how to take photographs or videos in
order to produce 3D models of monuments. The practical training took place at
the site of Byblos thanks to the generous permission of the DGA. This allowed
the participants to implement and test what they learnt in the theoretical part. The photos taken on site, be it
with the drones or with hand held cameras, were then processed using open access
3D photogrammetry software. The participants were able to generate
their own 3D models of selected objects, and to discuss the process with
end of this intensive training, the participants acquired practical skills,
starting with taking digital images of selected objects on the ground, moving
on to the processing of these images with 3D photogrammetry software, and
concluding with generating their own 3D models and orthographic photos. One of
the models generated during the training was that of the Temple of the
Obelisks. The temple is one of the most important Bronze Age structures at the
World Heritage site of Byblos. The 3D model allows the study of the temple with
its obelisks from a bird’s eye view.
courses are an integral component of the “Stunde Null” capacity building program.
They aim to offer early-career archaeologists, architects and other guardians
of the cultural heritage from Lebanon and other countries of the region a
chance to participate in the process of post-conflict recovery of the cultural
heritage. The German Federal Foreign Office generously funds the project.
If you are interested in learning more about SfM and would like to try it for yourself you can enroll in the online free course on the topic offered on tutorials.de (available in English and in Arabic).
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