The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) Grant Project
A Comprehensive Training Program for 3D Digital Rock Art Documentation and Preservation
This project completed in June 2010.
In February 2009, Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI), in collaboration with its partner organizations, was awarded a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) to fund the development of a training program for three-dimensional (3D) digital rock art documentation and preservation.
Based on internationally developed, state-of-the-art, open source and freely available software, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) provides flexible, cost-effective tools and methods for the on-site, three-dimensional (3D), full-color digital capture of rock art, petroglyphs, and artifacts. This grant provides essential funding to put these techniques in the hands of archaeology and conservation professionals through training, video podcasts, do-it-yourself guides, and online materials, in an economical and comprehensive program.
Funding for This Project
One half (50%) of the budget for this project is covered by the grant from NCPTT. The rest of the project budget, an additional $29,500, is covered in part by donations from partner organizations and other sources.
We are proud to announce that the Unbroken Chain Foundation has awarded CHI $5000. This money funds the completion of high-quality instructional tools that will enable not just rock art specialists but all types of cultural heritage workers to adopt and use Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI).
Partners and Contributors
- National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian)
- Presidio Archaeology Program (Presidio Trust)
- US Bureau of Land Management National Operations Center
- University of California, Berkeley
- Hewlett-Packard Laboratories
- Princeton University
- University of California, Santa Cruz
This project is made possible by the generous contributions of these individuals and institutions:
Meg Conkey, international rock art researcher and professor of Anthropology, will donate her time to review classroom and web content, specifically with an eye to the needs of rock art documentation and preservation. She will assist in dissemination of produced materials through the Society for American Archaeology.
Carolyn McClellan, Associate Director of the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian), will donate a professional video team to document the workshop proceedings, and will advise and review classroom and web content, specifically with an eye toward education of non-technical and Native American audiences.
Tom Noble and Neffra Matthews, from the US Bureau of Land Management National Operations Center, bring state-of-the-art photogrammetry expertise to the program. The BLM will donate their time and training materials.
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Princeton University and the University of California, Santa Cruz are donating expertise to develop and review the soundness of the overall capture and process and analysis methodology.
The Presidio Archaeology Lab of San Francisco will provide the workshop venue and participant lodging.
Cultural Heritage Imaging is donating all indirect costs for the project.
The 2-day workshop was held at the Presidio in July 2009. Materials from the workshop and other resources that were developed for the web are listed above in the right column: see “Related Publications and Links.”
Flickr Slide Show: Photos from the Workshop
Notes: Click on any individual photograph to see its caption. If your browser does not display these images, you can view them on Flickr.
Instructional Video: Performing Highlight RTI Image Capture
The do-it-yourself video below explains how to capture reflectance transformation images using the highlight method.