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Ancient clay oil lamps provide an invaluable source of information for archaeologists as indicators of ritual, chronology, clientele, trade, and origin. Since the late seventeenth century, they have been drawn, painted, and photographed for antiquarian and scientific publications. The purpose of this paper is to explore various applications of 2D and 3D digital modeling and laser scanning of ancient clay lamps using the Steiblicher Comet L3D Blue Scanner. It encourages widespread adoption of this method for the creation of highly accurate archaeological illustrations, 3D lamp typologies, 2D and 3D lamp documents, and museum quality reproductions. Most notably, this study confirms laser scanning as an effective method for extracting fingerprints from lamp surfaces to make possible the identification of ancient lampmakers.
Journal: Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage - Volume 1, Issue 2, 2014, Pages 34–44