Robert Shaw

Biography

Robert ShawRobert Shaw
Senior Geo-Surveyor
The Discovery Programme
 

Graduated in Topographic Science BSc (Hons.) 1st Class from the University of Glasgow in 1988. In 2003 was elected a full member of the Irish Institution of Surveyors.
In 1992, after 4 years working as a land surveyor and cartographer, joined RCAHMS as an archaeological surveyor. This role involved extensive surveying and mapping of archaeological monuments and landscapes around Scotland. In January 2002 began work with the Discovery Programme in Ireland as a geo-surveyor furthering own research interests in the application of new technologies, in particular 3D approaches to archaeological survey.

Abstract

Ogham in 3D - documenting the Ogham Alphabet inscribed stones of Ireland 

Ogham stones are among Ireland's most remarkable national treasures. These perpendicular cut stones bear inscriptions in the uniquely Irish Ogham alphabet, using a system of notches and horizontal or diagonal lines/scores to represent the sounds of an early form of the Irish language. The stones are inscribed with the names of prominent people and sometimes tribal affiliation or geographical areas. These inscriptions constitute the earliest recorded form of Irish and, as our earliest written records dating back at least as far as the 5th century AD, are a significant resource for historians, as well as linguists and archaeologists.

This presentation outlines the how laser scanning technology is being used to document these stones by generating highly precise 3D models. Often located in remote locations the logistical challenge of getting the equipment to these inaccessible locations and creating a controlled scanning environment will be discussed. The presentation will also examine the role these 3D models are playing in the conservation and improved academic understanding of the stones. Public engagement is an important objective and this has been achieved through a project website and by generating dissemination versions with smaller file sizes for public download. Finally the presentation will look at some alternative approaches using imagery to generate 3D models which offer the potential to open up the project to a citizen science public participation approach.

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