Applications of digital photography in the study of Paleolithic cave art
- Resource Type
- ACADEMIC JOURNAL
- In Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports December 2016 10:847-858
Developments in digital methods of rock-art study in Western Europe have considerably diversified and enriched this field of research in the last 25years. This is especially the case for microanalyses of artistic materials (datings, pigment characterization, etc.), and also for the study of the images themselves, their topography, their positioning and their contexts. 3D analyses, software with colorimetric filters, and macro-microscopic imaging represent examples of promising new tools for the study of rock art.The object of this article is to show some of these tools' applications in the context of decorated caves through specific cases taken from the study of several caves in France: Blanchard (Indre), Les Gorges (Jura), Rouffignac and especially Les Bernoux (Dordogne). The contributions of several applied techniques highlight the importance of their use in combination. This includes first of all photography, and multiple scientific applications of digital photographs such as photogrammetry, macrophotography and decorrelation stretch (colorimetric treatment).This article provides a synthesis of different results, in order to show the potential of these methods, especially for their use in combination. We emphasize in particular the contribution of decorrelation stretch, used to enhance the reading of color and pigments.