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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Digital Recording and Interpretation of Rock Art at Walnut Canyon National Monument
by Gerber, Creighton C., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2018, 140; 10817088
Abstract (Summary)

In this thesis, I examine how digital technology can benefit recording and interpretation methodology for archaeological rock art sites. The thesis is based on data collected at Walnut Canyon National Monument during a summer internship at the Flagstaff Area National Monuments in Arizona. Walnut Canyon is known for the Sinagua cliff dwellings that visitors can view from the trails. Though there are also many rock art panels within the monument’s boundaries, the panels are still relatively unknown by archaeologists and inaccessible to visitors by both trails and lack of interpretive materials. The thesis is theoretically based in critical and multivocal approaches, which engage with power relations between professionals and non-professionals and add outside perspectives to archaeological interpretation, by examining how digital technology affects accessibility and public participation. To investigate how digital technology can enhance recording and interpretation of rock art, I use 3D photogrammetry, GigaPan high-resolution panoramas, 360-degree panoramas, oblique flash photography, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), high dynamic range (HDR) photography, and DStretch photo enhancement software. What I find is that the digital recording methods I use for the project have much to offer both the public and researchers. While the methods do not replace a physical visit, a virtual visit could go far beyond many interpretive exhibits. Each method has its own considerations for how to be implemented effectively, so researchers and interpreters should consider any constraints they have and only select the methods that are most effective for their project goals.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Downum, Christian E.
Commitee: Hays-Gilpin, Kelley A., Lampe, Frederick P.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Cultural Resources Management
Keywords: Digital, Photogrammetry, Public archaeology, Rock art, Walnut canyon
Publication Number: 10817088
ISBN: 978-0-438-01371-1
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