Three-Dimensional Gigapan Views of Archaeological Sites and Artifacts: Examples from the Paleolithic of Southwest France
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The use of Gigapan imagery in an archaeological context allows for quick, very high resolution recording of excavation
surfaces, artifacts and surrounding areas. At the Paleolithic site of Abri Castanet (France), we have, since 2008, used a
Gigapan imager mounted horizontally to record lateral variation across our active excavation surface. Using GIS software
and topographic data from our onsite Total Station, we can then minimize distortion, plot the image relative to artifact and
feature locations and display all of these data in three-dimensions. This gives us a unique way to record and analyze patterns
of variation across a constrained archaeological horizon. In addition, we have recently began a project using this technique to
record, process and project imagery of early Upper Paleolithic engraved blocks and rockshelter ceilings, representing some of
the earliest examples of cave art in Europe.