The petroglyphs of Gabriola Island

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Yvonne Marshall and Eleonora Gandolfi use RTI to record a petroglyph

Yvonne Marshall and Eleonora Gandolfi use RTI to record a petroglyph

The team from the Centre for Digital Heritage and the University of Southampton have arrived on Gabriola island British Columbia. The first two days of the visit have been spent with local people identifying rock art sites and deciding which petroglyphs might be most usefully recorded using digital imaging techniques. The sites are located throughout the landscape of the island. Some of the sites are very close to the waterline while others are located high on hillsides.

 

Petroglyphs are often found along the seashore.

Petroglyphs are often found along the seashore.

The locations, variable quality of the stone and possibly the age of the petroglyphs has led to differing degrees of erosion. Some of the carvings are extremely crisp and clear but are endangered by the flaking of the rock into which they are carved while others have grown faint through erosion caused by weather and human activity. In both of these cases RTI and photogrammetry allow us to create a record of the petroglyphs which can be used to monitor deterioration or to interpret carvings which have grown faint.

As the interpretation of the petroglyphs continues we will begin to post results the CDH blog. These will allow you to share the insights which RTI and photogrammetry give us into the form of the petroglyphs and will also explain how these technologies can be used to interpret and assist in the conservation of weathered stonework.

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