Using Structure from Motion Mapping to Record and Analyze Details of the Colossal Hats (Pukao) of Monumental Statues on Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Sean W. Hixon, Carl P. Lipo, Terry L. Hunt, Christopher Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Structure from motion (SfM) mapping is a photogrammetric technique that offers a cost-effective means of creating three-dimensional (3-D) visual representations from overlapping digital photographs. The technique is now used more frequently to document the archaeological record. We demonstrate the utility of SfM by studying red scoria bodies known as pukao from Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile). We created 3-D images of 50 pukao that once adorned the massive statues (moai) of Rapa Nui and compare them to 13 additional pukao located in Puna Pau, the island's red scoria pukao quarry. Through SfM, we demonstrate that the majority of these bodies have petroglyphs and other surface features that are relevant to archaeological explanation and are currently at risk of continued degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-57
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Archaeological Practice
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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