Welcome to the Urban Archaeology blog. Freelance archaeologist Chiz Harward provides a range of on and offsite services to the archaeological profession, including running and working on excavations, post-excavation services, training and development work, and illustration work. This weblog will carry news of projects as and when they happen as well as wider thoughts on archaeological issues, especially recording, stratigraphy and training.

Palmyra Photogrammetry project

Many of us have read of the destruction and looting of Syrian monuments and antiquities over the past few years, recently the destruction of parts of the stunning World Heritage Site of Palmyra, and the murder of curator Khaled Al-Asaad has been in the headlines. I've just learnt of a project to use a computer photogrammetry program to reconstruct a 3-D computer model of the site using digital photographs. The project will use digital photographs taken by tourists, photographers and archaeologists to create a 3-D model. The more digital photos they get -especially of the sides, backs and less spectacular parts- the better the model will be. 
So if you have ever been to Palmyra, or know someone who has been, then please get in touch via email at palmyra3dmodel@outlook.com

I'd like to believe all of us are appalled by what has happened in Syria over the last few years, a small part of which has been the destruction of priceless ancient monuments like those at Palmyra. Whilst we can't rebuild those monuments, technology does allow us to reconstruct 3-D digital models of their appearance.

Just one small thing that archaeologists and tourists alike can do to help preserve our common heritage. Please spread the word.

The project has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Palmyra3Dmodel/timeline.


100 Minories: post-excavation work

The excavation work at LP Archaeology's 100 Minories site finished a few weeks ago, but after a well-earned holiday work has re-started on the post-excavation program. The first step is to finish checking the 3000 individual context records, making sure that they are all complete and cross-referenced, both on the paper records and in the digital Ark database. In addition thousands of hand-drawn plans and sections must be checked; they will then be digitised using Q-GIS software plug-ins developed during the excavation by LP Archaeology. The digitised plans will then be loaded into the Ark database; this holds scanned copies of the paper context sheets, as well as digital registers for contexts, plans, sections, photographs and samples, and all the digital photographs of the site. These are all cross-referenced and are linked to the spatial plan data making a very powerful tool for interrogating the site records.