Amara West project blog

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Investigating life in an Egyptian town

Amara West 2013: the present (Ernetta) from above

Neal reeling in the kite as Susie triggers photosNeal Spencer, British Museum

Susie preparing the camera rig before flight

Susie preparing the camera rig before flight

Since Tuesday, Susie Green has been on site, taking many detailed photographs (yesterday: 3,400) of rooms in our neighbourhood E13. These will be used to create high-resolution point-clouds to make three-dimensional models of the complex architecture in this area of houses and storage magazines. More on the method, and the results, in a later post.

Susie has also brought a small kite, rigged up to hoist a camera skyward, with a remote controller allowing photos to be captured – even when the camera is 30 metres in the air.

These images will be used to acquire wide-angle views of the architecture, site and surrounding landscape, into which the detailed architectural renderings can be placed.

The expedition house, one of a block of four houses

The expedition house, one of a block of four houses

Yesterday we undertook a test flight on Ernetta island, taking advantage of the wind. It was the first time I’d held a kite reel in several decades … and I may have been responsible for a temporary crash landing in a tall palm tree.

Drawing an audience – Neal reeling in the kite as Susie triggers photos

Drawing an audience – Neal reeling in the kite as Susie triggers photos

The kite soared over our dig house and the surrounding fields, offering a very different perspective on our island and neighbourhood, as well as attracting children on the way home from school.

Two “zareeba” (enclosure for keeping goats) amongst the palm trees beside our house

Two “zareeba” (enclosure for keeping goats) amongst the palm trees beside our house

Viewing the images, we were all struck how model-like, almost unreal, the area looks in these images. Next week, we’ll fly the kite over ancient Amara West.

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Find out more about the Amara West research project
Read posts from previous excavation seasons at Amara West

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One Response

  1. Great to see Susie’s aerial images ;o)
    A wonderful technique.

    For those wishing to followup on this approach, have a look at the kite work of other archaeologists too:

    http://www.armadale.org.uk/kite03.htm

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