3-D Digging at Çatalhöyük

Çatalhöyük is a Neolithic settlement located in Turkey, the best-preserved and largest of its time period. Researchers and students from all over the world come to excavate and study the possible ways of life of that time, as well as their tools, the flora and fauna they might have encountered, and many other aspects. The difficulty in preserving this 9,000-year-old, prehistoric city is only accelerated by erosion, high salinity levels, and an unstable environment undermining the excavated shelter's structural integrity, among others. These facets, coupled with the popularity of the site, set it as a important site for digital preservation.

Professor Nicola Lercari is an expert in 3-D visualization. Spending most of his time at the site working with conservators, Lercari uses a variety of 3-D scanning and mapping tools to recreate computer models down to extremely low levels of error. This summer, Lercari used drones with high-definition cameras in addition to area-wide terrestrial laser scanning to cover not only the two excavation mounds, but also the surrounding 35 acres.