Journal article Open Access
Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz; Jonathan Adams; Felix Pedrotti
This paper introduces the applicability of underwater
photogrammetric survey within challenging conditions as the main
tool to enhance and enrich the process of documenting archaeological
excavation through the creation of 4D models. Photogrammetry was
being attempted on underwater archaeological sites at least as early
as the 1970s’ and today the production of traditional 3D models is
becoming a common practice within the discipline. Photogrammetry
underwater is more often implemented to record exposed underwater
archaeological remains and less so as a dynamic interpretative tool. Therefore, it tends to be applied in bright environments and
when underwater visibility is > 1m, reducing its implementation
on most submerged archaeological sites in more turbid conditions.
Recent years have seen significant development of better digital
photographic sensors and the improvement of optical technology,
ideal for darker environments. Such developments, in tandem with
powerful processing computing systems, have allowed underwater
photogrammetry to be used by this research as a standard recording
and interpretative tool. Using multi-source photogrammetry (5,
GoPro5 Hero Black cameras) this paper presents the accumulation of
daily (4D) underwater surveys carried out in the Early Bronze Age
(3,300 BC) to Late Ottoman (17th Century AD) archaeological site of
Ropotamo in the Bulgarian Black Sea under challenging conditions
(< 0.5m visibility). It proves that underwater photogrammetry can
and should be used as one of the main recording methods even in low
light and poor underwater conditions as a way to better understand
the complexity of the underwater archaeological record.
C. J. Lister, R. N. Hiscott, A. E. Aksu, and P. J. Mudie, "Compositional trends through the Holocene mud succession of the southwestern Black Sea shelf: Implications for sedimentary provenance and water-level history," Sedimentary Geology, vol. 316, pp. 13–25, 2015.
G. F. Bass, "Archaeology Under Water," in Ancient peoples and places, New York, 1966.
G. Lericolais, J. Bourget, I. Popescu, P. Jermannaud, T. Mulder, S. Jorry, and N. Panin, "Late Quaternary deep-sea sedimentation in the western Black Sea: New insights from recent coring and seismic data in the deep basin," Global and Planetary Change, vol. 103, no. April 2013, pp. 232–247, apr 2013.
H. Br¨uckner, D. Kelterbaum, O. Marunchak, A. Porotov, and A. V¨ott, "The Holocene sea level story since 7500 BP Lessons from the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black and the Azov Seas," Quaternary International, vol. 225, no. 2, pp. 160–179, oct 2010.
I. Karayotov, "The Antique and Medieval port at the mouth of the river Ropotamo," Acta TAB, vol. 5, pp. 64–66, 1990.
J. Green, "Maritime archaeology: a technical handbook," 1990.
M. Rule, "The Mary Rose: The Excavation and Raising of Henry VIIIs Flagship," 1982.
N. Rule, "Some techniques for cost-effective three-dimensional mapping of underwater sites," BAR International Series, vol. 598, p. 51, 1995.
V. Yanko-Hombach, A. S. Gilbert, and P. Dolukhanov, "Controversy over the great flood hypotheses in the Black Sea in light of geological, paleontological, and archaeological evidence," Quaternary International, vol. 167-168, pp. 91–113, jun 2007.  I. Popescu, G. Lericolais, N. Panin, A. Normand, C. Dinu, and E. Le Drezen, "The Danube submarine canyon (Black Sea): morphology and sedimentary processes," Marine Geology, vol. 206, no. 1-4, pp. 249–265, may 2004.  A. E. Aksu, H. Gillespie, and P. J. Mudie, "Dino flagellate cysts , freshwater algae and fungal spores as salinity indicators in Late Quaternary cores from Marmara and Black seas," vol. 190, 2002.  A. E. Aksu, R. N. Hiscott, and D. Ya, "Oscillating Quaternary water levels of the Marmara Sea and vigorous outflow into the Aegean Sea from the Marmara Sea Black Sea drainage corridor," vol. 153, pp. 275–302, 1999.  W. B. F. Ryan, W. C. Pitman, C. Major, K. Shimkus, V. Moskalenko, G. A. Jones, P. Dimitrov, N. Goriir, M. Saking, and H. Yiice, "An abrupt drowning of the Black Sea shelf," vol. 138, pp. 119–126, 1997.  J. McCarthy and J. Benjamin, "Multi-image Photogrammetry for Underwater Archaeological Site Recording: An Accessible, Diver-Based Approach," Journal of Maritime Archaeology, mar 2014.  C. Beltrame and E. Costa, "3D survey and modelling of shipwrecks in different underwater environments," Journal of Cultural Heritage, 2017.  O. Barkai and Y. Kahanov, "The Tantura F Shipwreck, Israel," International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, vol. 36, no. 1, p. 21, 2007.  M. Eliyahu, O. Barkai, Y. Goren, N. Eliaz, Y. Kahanov, and D. Ashkenazi, "The iron anchors from the Tantura F shipwreck: typological and metallurgical analyses," Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 233–245, 2011.  N. Rule, "The Direct Survey Method (DSM) OF Underwater Survey, And Its Application Underwater," International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 157–162, 1989.