Examining Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry of artefacts from Rievaulx Abbey as a means of recording for the English Heritage Curatorial Team, Helmsley Archaeological Store

Author(s): Li Sou

The reserve collection of artefacts of English Heritage’s North Territory is housed in the Archaeological Store in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. It contains a substantial amount of medieval stonework from nearby Rievaulx Abbey and Fountains Abbey. Currently all artefacts are documented to a basic level of site, location in store, simple object name and material. The majority have higher levels of information which includes a description, measurements, context (where known) and record photography. Record photography is typically one to several views with a scale, and all artefacts are recorded on the heritage object management database, some with linked digital images, whilst others have more detailed paper based records in catalogues. Some basic stereo photogrammetric recording is undertaken for stonework, however little has been processed (Harrison 2016, pers. comm.). A new visitor centre for Rievaulx Abbey was completed in spring 2016, resulting in the permanent move of several objects associated with the site from the stores to new displays. With this development, the curatorial team at Helmsley decided to investigate whether Structure-from-Motion (SFM) photogrammetry could be a suitable means of recording artefactual data to meet their different needs for imagery. The CIfA placement holder in Geospatial Investigation Techniques at Historic England was tasked with creating 3D data outputs from images taken of different Rievaulx artefacts, for English Heritage’s curatorial team to assess for their suitability for record keeping, artefact analyses, conservation records, online and print publication, education, and public displays.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports


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