RSE Workshop 1

Workshop 1: Digital recording of carved stones for research: where are we and where can we go?

‌12 February 2015, Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art

This brought together for the first-time invited researchers and practitioners from Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and England who are actively involved in the latest digital recording of carved stones.

Recent years have seen rapid technological developments in digital recording using a variety of methods — including 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry (‘structure from motion’); structured light scanning (SLS), reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), and 3D printing. In a number of data-gathering initiatives these tools have proven their effectiveness in recording carved stones (e.g. and in generating visually impressive digital reconstructions, particularly for a non-specialist audience (e.g. To date the emphasis has tended to be on data capture with less consideration given to research perspectives on these new techniques.

How can researchers fully exploit these new technologies to answer existing and innovative questions? What are the relative merits of the different methods and how do they compare with more traditional techniques ? What are the barriers to accessing and handling data? How can the needs of researchers be better met? By addressing these questions in an international context we aim to establish common ground, share best practice and explore the possibility of a future Scotland-Ireland-Sweden research collaboration on 3D recording and comparative analysis of rune-, ogham- and Pictish symbol stones.

While the focus was the rich and distinctive corpus of carved stones produced in north-western Europe between AD 400 and 1200, the findings of this seminar will have implications for digital recording of carved stones of all periods.

A summary of the workshop's findings can be found here: Workshop 1 summary

Please contact Dr Katherine Forsyth for further information. We invite you to contribute to developing a relevant source list here: Workshop 1 references and further reading

Image of RSE Workshop 1