by Darcy Calabria

When you think of an archaeologist, what do you think of? A brawny man with a whip? A scrawny professor type? Basically people who are obsessed with the past and are very removed from reality? Not quite. Here at Tel Akko, we are leaping into the future with some cool tech that will not only benefit our search to understand the past, but will also lead to other applications in fields completely unrelated to archaeology. For the past few weeks I’ve been working on 3D photogrammetry. Every morning, before sunrise, a few of us go out to the tell to take pictures. Each day, we will be assigned a square which we then take pictures of from all angles.

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We then take the pictures and put them into a program called AgiSoft. In this program, we take all of the photos and cover up all of the elements that we don’t want in the model, like shades, poles, or rope lines. The program then takes all of the photos and aligns the common features that it can then make a three dimensional model of.

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Honestly, the computer does most of the hard work, but there is a little human effort that goes into making 50-some photos become a 3D representation of one of our squares. Most of my personal struggle comes from orienting the model. You would not believe how often I orient a model completely upside down and think it is right side up!

While the struggle can be somewhat frustrating, learning this program has been a lot of fun and given me a lot of opportunities that normally would not have happened. Seeing the sun rise up over the Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I may have to wake up a littler earlier and my day might be a little longer, but the mornings are peaceful and the results of all of our efforts are amazing. Like many things, it takes a village, and making these 3D models is no exception. It takes a lot of effort from our tiny team, and I really am trying.

 

Darcy Calabria
About Darcy Calabria
I am 20 years old and from Yardley, Pennsylvania. I'm a junior at Penn State. I am studying Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Archaeological Science.

2 Comments

  • Jennifer Munro
    3:51 AM - 26 July, 2016

    I loved your blog – thanks Darcy!

  • Katherine Smyth
    8:36 AM - 27 July, 2016

    Great breakdown of what we do on the 3D team! Thank you so much for your help this year, Darcy!

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I’ve Been Really Trying…. To Make a 3D Model