There are tools that exist or are being developed to add to the arsenal of the archaeologist. Some are much less expensive that one might first think.
At Wayne State University we have developed a relatively low cost Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) device’ which we affectionately call PATT (Photo Artifact TurnTable) and software to move the photos through the process to create the final RTI easily. The software development is being done by my colleague Mark Jazayeri (tweet @MarkJazayeri). Dr. Krysta Ryzewski (tweet @KrystaRyzew) is our mentor and enthusiastically encourages us in our pursuits.
RTI is the current name for the process formerly known as Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM), a process developed by some clever fellows at HP Labs.
I am currently working on a portable version of PATT that can be placed against a wall, ceiling or floor or over a large object too big to fit on PATT.
Also in the works is a Giga Pixel photo device, MMAC, that will take extremely high resolution photos of artifacts whose detail warrant it. MMAC stands for Multi Macro Artifact Camera.
So let’s begin with a basic tool that every archaeologist should have in their bag of tricks. Click on Tool 1 – The SLR Camera.