Saturday, September 09, 2006

Egyptian Writing "Scanned" Using High-Tech Methods
Jean Revez studies old things, but that doesn't make him wedded to old ways.

The professor of Egyptian history at the University of Montreal in Canada is developing one of several emerging techniques for electronically recording and interpreting ancient stone inscriptions.

Today most archaeologists record writing and other architectural details using pencils, pens, and paper, "tools that are really quite ancient," Revez said.

In his vision of the future, epigraphists—archaeologists who study inscriptions—will rely instead on digital cameras, specialized computer software, and their dexterity with a mouse.

There are two methods described here, but it's unclear what the second one is, though it seems similar to the first.

Has anyone used laser ranging to capture very worn inscriptions? I'd think you could probably detect very subtle contours that you could highlight/exaggerate digitally.