The AHRC have awarded Follow on Funding to build on the RTISAD project. This grant will explore the possibilities of digital imaging in ancient document research, in archaeology, in industrial applications such as textile design, and in other contexts. The underlying technology called Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) uses multiple images to produce an interactive representation of subtle surface details such as brush strokes on paintings. The grant is a collaboration between Graeme Earl in the Archaeological Computing Research Group and Kirk Martinez in the Web and Internet Science group (WAIS) at University of Southampton, and Jacob Dahl at the Oxford University Oriental Institute. In addition to the funding from the AHRC the grant has further support from a broad range of collaborators from the public, private and third sectors.
One of the exciting applications is in the transcription and analysis of proto-Elamite tablets. Proto-Elamite was used between around 3200BC and 2900BC in a region now in the south west of modern Iran. The team believe that one of the many peculiarities obscuring our understanding of this writing system is the lack of standardisation and possible high number of scribal errors. By using the computing technologies developed by the new project researchers will be able to visualise and collaboratively compare and annotate the texts
You can follow the project on twitter and contribute to the project by joining the Cultural Heritage Imaging forum below.