Efficient three-dimensional field documentation methods for labour cost studies: Case studies from archaeological and heritage contexts

Jari Pakkanen, Ann Brysbaert, Daniel Turner, Yannick Boswinkel

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The aim of this paper is to present alternatives for three-dimensional field documentation methods which can be used to record architectural features for econometric labour cost studies. Combining reflectorless total station line-drawing with photogrammetry produces high-quality three-dimensional models of the targets which can subsequently be analysed to derive volumetric data of the employed building materials and the sizes of the individual elements. The case studies compare how different variations and combinations of three-dimensional architectural documentation can be used to create sufficiently accurate models for architectural energetics studies with varying degrees of time and expense in the field and in the post-processing phase of the research. The documentation method has been developed by the first author of this paper and disseminated through annual fieldschools conducted on archaeological sites. The standard documentation procedure is to establish ground control points and an alternative based on inbuilt instrument GPS systems is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00141
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalDigital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
Early online date10 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Greek architecture
  • Three-dimensional documentation
  • Labour cost studies
  • Combining total station line-drawing and photogrammetry
  • Monumental architecture
  • Private houses

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