Carnegie Mellon researchers create new scanning system

Sep 29, 2007

Indiana Jones, step aside. Carnegie Mellon University’s Yang Cai is developing new technology that could revolutionize the way archeologists work.

Cai, director of the Ambient Intelligence Lab at Carnegie Mellon CyLab, is developing new software to scan 200-year-old gravestones at Old St. Luke’s Church in nearby Carnegie to help its Episcopal pastor identify all the names on the cemetery’s tombstones.

“We are very excited and pleased that Professor Cai and his research team are helping us reclaim our past by identifying some of the 20 graves at our cemetery,” said Rev. Richard Davis, director of Old St. Luke’s Church at 330 Old Washington Pike.

The church, established in 1765 as a stockade church for British soldiers, is operated as a special events building for weddings, book reviews and special holiday services, according to Davis.

During the past two weeks, Cai’s research team trekked through the church’s three-acre cemetery, scanning unreadable gravestones and then storing the images on laptops.

“We are exploring new 3-D reconstruction technology to decipher the gravestone names,” said Cai. “Essentially, we reconstruct the tombstone surfaces by applying filtering and detection algorithms for revealing the words on the archaic surfaces,” he said.

In addition to discovering who is buried in the church cemetery, Cai is developing a digital cemetery for Old St. Luke’s Church.

“Our goal is to take the guess work out of archeology and make this reconstruction technology available for a variety of other industry sectors, such as the security and medical fields,” said Cai.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

Explore further: New hadrosaur noses into spotlight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New hadrosaur noses into spotlight

Sep 19, 2014

Call it the Jimmy Durante of dinosaurs – a newly discovered hadrosaur with a truly distinctive nasal profile. The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State Univer ...

Militants threaten ancient sites in Iraq, Syria

Sep 19, 2014

For more than 5,000 years, numerous civilizations have left their mark on upper Mesopotamia—from Assyrians and Akkadians to Babylonians and Romans. Their ancient, buried cities, palaces and temples packed ...

New branch added to European family tree

Sep 17, 2014

The setting: Europe, about 7,500 years ago. Agriculture was sweeping in from the Near East, bringing early farmers into contact with hunter-gatherers who had already been living in Europe for tens of thousands ...

User comments : 0