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4.1 Analysis and interpretation

RTI is of increasing popularity for archaeology. Capturing the photographs is a relatively quick process once tripods holding the camera and reflective sphere have been set up, and the camera settings adjusted to reduce the ambient light appearing in images. For artefacts within a similar setting, such as memorials in a graveyard, recording 70 or so digital photographs can be fast and repeated quickly. The processing of the photographs in order to produce a PTM takes around 20 minutes. The Mary May recording was slowed down to recording and processing one RTI per hour, in order to check results as the recording was taking place. Some image processing can occur before using the RTIBuilder software, and results will differ depending on this processing. For instance, a slight smoothing of images can produce different results when using the specular enhancement setting in RTIViewer, which can be very useful for objects that have highly complicated surface topography (such as granite). For the Mary May recording day, images were not processed before creating PTMs, although this was carried out after the fact, in order to 'clean-up' the results for publication

Smith directs the 'Re-reading the British Memorial' project alongside Dr Gareth Beale, who was also present on the recording day. The project works with community groups to enable the use of RTI as a way to interpret results while in the field. RTI can be used to improve the analysis of artefacts in a graveyard or cemetery context. This is particularly the case for memorials that have transcriptions or signs that can be problematic to read or see. Alterations to carved stone can be identified, as well as differentiating between deliberate detailing and degraded surfaces, pigment traces, superimposition, sequencing, patinas, discolorations, erasures, and treatments over time. RTI has also been used by the 'Re-reading the British Memorial' team for surveying graffiti in a church context.


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