No rose without thorns: assessing 3D scanning methods in archaeology through case studies from Hattusa

Date
2023-08
Advisor
Massa, Michele
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Bilkent University
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English
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Thesis
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Abstract

Over the last two decades, 3D scanning has become an increasingly important tool in archaeology, and it has seen steady growth in practical applications. However, despite this new wave of experimentation and integration of 3D methods in archaeological routines on a global scale, they are still rarely part of research in Turkey. The first main aim of this thesis is therefore to showcase the advantages of these techniques to help develop a community of 3D scanning users in this country through the employment of the exceptional work at Ḫattuša as a case study. The second aim is to assess what the best 3D tools according to research questions, availability of expertise, and budget actually are. The case study revolves around the "Ḫattuša Project," which features 3D scanning of significant archaeological and landscape features, including Nişantaş and the nearby Chamber 2, Yazılıkaya, the gorge between Büyükkaya and Ambarlıkaya, and the Great Temple. The methods used in the project provide useful arenas for investigating the strengths and weaknesses of the 3D approaches across different questions related to epigraphy, art history, architecture, and landscape archaeology. After presenting and assessing the application of 3D techniques at Ḫattuša, I evaluate the most commonly used 3D scanning techniques in archaeology, such as laser scanning, structured light scanning, and photogrammetry, according to several parameters, including data accuracy, price, learning curve, and ease of use. This allows me to identify the best practice to include 3D tools in archaeological fieldwork and research routines. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the potential shortcomings of current 3D methods and to identify areas where new technologies may significantly improve current products.

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3D scanning, Digital archaeology, Photogrammetry, Hattusa, LiDAR
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Published Version (Please cite this version)