The utilization of SfM and RTI to study ancient Egyptian statuary reuse

The utilization of SfM and RTI to study ancient Egyptian statuary reuse
6 August 2021, 5.00pm - 6.15pm

Kylie Thomsen, UCLA

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The reuse of statuary was not an uncommon practice in the ancient world. However, depending on the extent to which the object was modified, it remains difficult to systematically study. While art historians have identified the practices of object reinscribing and reworking in a variety of media, my case study aims to employ digital methodologies such as Structure from Motion (SfM) and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) in order to further systematize and quantify the degree of reuse. In this regard, I use varying case studies to serve as the models through which traditional art historical observation will be coupled with the results of my digital studies in order to better assess the ancient stone reworking.

The methods employed in this specific study were intentionally selected to complement the current art historical discussions of statuary reuse. By accurately recording the surface of the statue—to a degree of accuracy of less than 0.001 mm error—I seek to identify and differentiate tool marks, polishing, inscriptions, and other marks which are key in describing the processes and decision-making of the individual who reworked the object. In summation, this paper aims to better represent art historical observations with testable and systematized hypotheses describing the processes of reworking and reinscribing ancient Egyptian stone statuary.


Valerie James
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