Articles | Volume 4
06 Jun 2023
 | 06 Jun 2023

Comparison of low-cost techniques for digital cultural heritage preservation of an original Egyptian temple

Robert L. Voûte, Hessel Prins, and Bart-Peter Smit

Keywords: MLS, iPhone LiDAR, digital cultural heritage, digital archaeology, archaeology, photo-grammetry

Abstract. The research covers a method to map archaeological objects (cultural heritage) in 3D in an accurate, detailed way with low-cost equipment. This paper deals with a preliminary step, testing the method on an ancient Egyptian object, the temple of Taffeh (Raven, 1996) in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities) in Leiden, the Netherlands. Mapping the temple is a preparation step for accurately and detailed mapping and geo-referencing an ancient Egyptian subterranean tomb. The research was to compare two different techniques on reliability and precision, together describing the accuracy. The proposed techniques in the method are photogrammetry with a full-frame digital mirrorless camera and using an iPhone with LiDAR capability. For this first step, the mapping of the temple, a third technique was added: a more advanced mobile laser scanner (a ZEB Horizon), not being low-cost but interesting for comparison and possibly validation. Of all three techniques the point density was measured to give a first indication of the level of detail. The research shows the method to be promising for use in Egypt. The photogrammetry model was the most accurate, presenting sub-centimetre details of the object while the iPhone LiDAR model was less accurate and lower in point density but faster.