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Lunenburg Public Archaeology

Thanks to opportunities facilitated by Dr. Jonathan Fowler (Saint Mary’s University), in May of 2016 I volunteered at a public archaeology excavation at a fort that once stood overlooking the waters surrounding Lunenburg—the locale of the Lunenburg Academy today. The event was headed by Dr. Henry Cary (Mount Allison University), who delivered the participants a tour of the historic military landscape tucked in greenspaces and below the modern streets of Lunenburg.

At this time, I had just purchased a DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone for research and personal documentation. I was continually testing the limitations of this tool for archaeological documentation using Agisoft Photoscan (not Metashape). Below is the result of an experiment at Lunenburg creating a 3D model of the excavated drain feature using of frames extracted from a low altitude video using VLC media player.

Lunenburg Drain Feature by weatherbeewesley on Sketchfab

The results are less than impressive. However, Metashape has since integrated 3D reconstructions from video within the software producing much better results. Additionally, this was more of a proof of concept for me than a precision documentation—that was handled by Dr. Henry Cary using a DSLR.

Overall, the public archaeology project at Lunenburg was a great success and provided opportunities for the public to engage with archaeology, and early career students (as I was at that time) to experiment while developing skills for teaching about cultural heritage.


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