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The spiral that vanished : the application of non-contact recording techniques to an elusive rock art motif at Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria.

Díaz-Andreu, M. and Brooke, C. and Rainsbury, M. and Rosser, N. (2006) 'The spiral that vanished : the application of non-contact recording techniques to an elusive rock art motif at Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria.', Journal of archaeological science., 33 (11). pp. 1580-1587.

Abstract

This article describes the recording of stone 11 of the Castlerigg stone circle in Cumbria through two different non-contact techniques: laser scanning and ground-based remote sensing. Despite the unproblematic recording of modern graffiti, neither technique was able to document the spiral photographed and rubbed in 1995. It is concluded that the spiral was most probably painted and has since faded away due to natural events. The discovery and loss of of the spiral motif in Castlerigg is seen as a cautionary tale. In particular, it seems to suggest that it is time to take advantage of the novel technologies based on the digitisation of 3D surfaces with millimetre and submillimetre accuracy such as laser scanning and ground-based remote sensing. They offer many advantages to the recording of prehistoric carvings. In addition to avoiding direct contact with the rock surface eliminating the preservation concerns raised by other techniques, both produce high quality images (laser scaning offering a greater potential for this, but at higher cost) having a much higher level of objectivity, and precision and accuracy far beyond those of traditional recording methods such as wax rubbings and scale drawings.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Rock art recording, Laser scanning, Megalithic art, Spiral.
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (1260Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2006.02.010
Record Created:27 Feb 2009
Last Modified:30 Aug 2011 09:23

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