Digitizing an Excavation: A Laser Scanning Database of Maya Architectural Remains

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Riccardo Montuori
Laura Gilabert-Sansalvador
Ana Laura Rosado-Torres
Gaspar Muñoz Cosme


Excavating an ancient Maya city requires a long-term archaeological project that entails adequate documentation procedures for the unearthed remains, frequently of monumental scale and with difficult preservation conditions. A digital laser scanner survey methodology was designed and implemented to document the exposed architecture and to follow-up the archaeological excavation of the Maya site of La Blanca (Peten, Guatemala). All scans collected during the different field seasons were stored and aligned in a common reference system. Thus, an accurate digital three-dimensional database was obtained, including all the architectural remains found, some of which had to be reburied to ensure their preservation. The resulting database is a helpful repository that facilitates to extract all the graphic outputs required for: planning the next excavation campaigns, monitoring the preservation of the buildings, studying the architecture and construction technology in detail, and disseminating the excavation results. This paper describes the methodology and procedures used to build-up this database.


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Montuori, R., Gilabert-Sansalvador, L., Rosado-Torres, A. L., & Muñoz Cosme, G. (2022). Digitizing an Excavation: A Laser Scanning Database of Maya Architectural Remains. Studies in Digital Heritage, 6(2), 71–97. https://doi.org/10.14434/sdh.v6i2.35236
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