Heritage Visualisation student Clara taking photos for RTI at BallyHennan graveyard

Uncovering the past with Hidden Heritage

MSc International Heritage Visualisation student Clara Molina-Sanchez explored the use of different photography based techniques for the digitization of gravestones.

Working with Hidden Heritage and local community volunteers, Clara was interested in particular in methods accessible at low cost to local community groups that would be strong enough to support the digitization of gravestone and yet be powerful and accurate enough to help uncover hidden detail and support long term archive and conservation projects.

Her results were little short of breath-taking – for example, some of the stones are very badly weathered leaving almost none of the original inscriptions visible to the eye. This can be a significant challenge for heritage groups trying to identify the individuals buried below. Stone 28 at BallyHennan is one of the more badly weathered stones:

Stone 28 at BallyHennan graveyard
Stone 28 at BallyHennan graveyard

Using a method known as RTI (one of two methods Clara used in her project), using around 100 photos and a few hours of additional computer processing significant parts of the inscription suddenly appear:

After performing RTI parts of the inscription on stone 28 are readable
RTI image of Stone 28 at BallyHennan

You can read more about the Hidden Heritage project here.

Applications for the MSc in Heritage Visualisation for entry in September 2014 are still open… more details here.

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