Drawing, photography and digital imaging : a comparative study in rock art recording methodology Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4x51hp18t

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  • Prehistoric rock art has intrigued and fascinated researchers from around the world for nearly 300 years. Having once been embraced for its cultural and scientific uniqueness, the study of prehistoric rock art showed promise in being able to open new doors of understanding, above and beyond the written record. In time, however, as archaeological interests gradually shifted towards large scale stratigraphic excavation and chronometric dating of artifact assemblages, the enthusiasm and promise of rock art studies were soon forgotten. Unfortunately, the gradual marginalization of rock art research in academic and professional circles has had a deleterious affect on the disciplines theoretical and scientific growth. Methods of documenting rock art have changed little in over 250 years and still involve techniques of recording that are not only invasive and inaccurate, but time and labor intensive. If rock art sites are to be effectively documented for management, conservation and scientific research prior to their destruction, then a fundamental shift in our thinking about bow we approach and record rock art sites is in order. This thesis proposes a change to traditional rock art recording methods in which drawings are the status quo. In a comparative study, this thesis demonstrates that when a more judicious use of drawings is adopted in favor of photography and digital imaging, the recording process becomes more efficient and the data gathered is more accurate and less subjective. In addition, this thesis will demonstrate how photo-editing and digital imaging techniques provide and facilitate the seamless integration of photographic data into the report writing process, and provide new ways in which to view and analyze photographic data scientifically.
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