Geoarchaeological site documentation and analysis of 3D data derived by terrestrial laser scanning
Keywords: Archaeology, geoarchaeology, terrestrial laser scanning, documentation, 3D GIS
Abstract. Terrestrial laser scanning was conducted to document and analyse sites of geoarchaeological interest in Jordan, Egypt and Spain. In those cases, the terrestrial laser scanner LMS-Z420i from Riegl was used in combination with an accurate RTK-GPS for georeferencing of the point clouds. Additionally, local surveying networks were integrated by established transformations and used for indirect registration purposes. All data were integrated in a workflow that involves different software and according results. The derived data were used for the documentation of the sites by accurate plans and cross-sections. Furthermore, the 3D data were analysed for geoarchaeological research problems, such as volumetric determinations, the ceiling thickness of a cave and lighting simulations based on path tracing. The method was reliable in harsh environmental conditions, but the weight of the instrument, the measuring time and the minimum measurement distance were a drawback. However, generally an accurate documentation of the sites was possible. Overall, the integration in a 3D GIS is easily possible by the accurate georeference of the derived data. In addition, local survey results are also implemented by the established transformations. Enhanced analyses based on the derived 3D data shows promising results.