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3D Scans Reveal Ancient Art in Alabama Cave

By Discover Magazine

June 17, 2022

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A team of researchers from the University of Tennessee used three-dimensional (3D) photo mapping to find previously hidden ancient etchings in an Alabama cave.

The 3D photogrammetry process is designed to capture photos that overlap by 60% to 80%, and to blend them using a computer program that lets users adjust the distance to add dimension.

The researchers recorded 16,000 images in the 19th Unnamed Cave, manipulating distance to lower the cave floor to expose a wider view of the ceiling, revealing etchings invisible in person.

The team suggested the technique "can revolutionize the study of rock art."

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