Saturday, November 14, 2015

Archaeology takes tools from new technologies – Our Time

It is generally imagines looked at their discovery, a toothbrush in hand rubbing gently, yet archaeologists are always particularly quick to appropriate the technical advances, a trend even more pronounced with the advent of new technologies .

The latest example, thermal identified four Egyptian pyramids, including that of Khufu, which revealed possible cavities within structures that remain to be determined.

“We use two methods: one to measure temperature changes of surfaces, the other with an electronic scintillator that captures muons (elementary particle with properties similar to the electron, ie) s and allow to reveal ‘ there are voids in the structure, “explains Mehdi Tayoubi, President of HIP Institute that carried out the action.

The technique is a diversion because at the origin it had been developed Japan to measure radiation radioactivity, following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Scanner, drones, laser or GPS positioning, 3D scanning, multiple uses are archeology and allow considerable time savings in the study sites, often will disappear to make way for new construction.

“The use of the laser allows us to reduce the duration of a field survey in half a day, against four or five days before. With 3D we have a very rapid recovery of our stratigraphic layers and elements that we find ourselves, it allows us to continue to study the environment even after the excavations, “explains Frédéric Blase, archaeologist at the National Institute of Archaeological Research preventive (Inrap).

The explosion of such use leads universities to integrate into their curriculum, like the Paris-Sorbonne University, which has established with the Musée du Quai Branly seminar discovery techniques open to students of archeology its masters.

“The aim is to train students in the use of new technologies in archeology of everyday + +, not only on exceptional sites, “explains Nathalie Ginoux, lecturer at the University Paris-Sorbonne

-. Drones to protect sites –

” We enable students to discover new technologies concretely, with explanations of the users, it allows them aware of all these tools, “adds Christophe Moulherat, Quai Branly.

The University even went further, by establishing a platform of digital tools unprecedented in France, that is to say machines available to its researchers and students teachers.

“We have appealed projects to master in students to encourage them to use the tools and train interdisciplinary teams around their research subjects, “said Gregory Chaumet, in charge of the platform.

Out of the question for as many abandon traditional learning methods of analysis in the field: “students continue to draw in pencil, making stone by stone statements because they are methods that facilitate the analysis by observing in real time” said Nathalie Ginoux.

In addition to the same study sites, new technologies also allow the preservation, including through surveillance against theft and damage.

In Peru The Ministry of Culture was well equipped with a fleet of drones that allows it to map all of the sites and to act before urban development does not come to destroy them.

“We have a fleet of nine UAVs allow us to know the real state sites and catalog them. We have over 100,000 sites in the country and know only 10% of them. The use of drones allows us to have fast information about them and see any damage they may have suffered, “said Aldo Watanave, the Ministry of Culture.

They become even a communication tool, especially through 3D modeling. “This allows you to find sponsors and sponsorship, it is always easier with beautiful pictures,” admits Nathalie Ginoux.


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