Pilbara rock art: laser scanning, photogrammetry and 3D photographic reconstruction as heritage management tools

Annabelle Davis, David Belton, Petra Helmholz, Paul Bourke, Jo McDonald
Heritage Science. (Springer) 4 July 2017. DOI 10.1186/s40494-017-0140-7.


Recording techniques such as laser scanning, photogrammetry and photographic reconstruction are not new to archaeology. However as technology evolves and becomes more readily available such methods are being more regularly employed within a cultural heritage management context, often by people with little experience in using these technologies for heritage applications. For most cultural heritage management practitioners, the awe and lure of technology and the ease with which it can bring archaeology to life can distract from the end game of managing the site on the ground. This paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of laser scanning, photogrammetry and photographic reconstruction in recording, managing and interpreting rock art sites with an emphasis on its practical applications to the field of heritage management. Using a case study from West Angelas in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia, we will examine how these technologies assist in the practical management of heritage sites, and the significant outputs achieved for Aboriginal stakeholder groups in remote access to, and the interpretation of indigenous heritage sites.


Rock art, Photogrammetry, Laser scanning, Photographic reconstruction, 3D modelling

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