About this project

Combining expertise in Computer Science and Archaeology, this project aims to create affordable, user-friendly technology that will enable archaeologists to execute high quality 3D image capture on site and use the output to analyze megalithic art. The depth and RGB camera of the Kinect is employed to collect detailed recordings of megalithic art.

The core of this project is developing a new image processing algorithm that will automatically detect megalithic symbols created by humans and identify patterns among the symbols. The image processing and computer vision techniques explored in this project have not previously been undertaken at the precision level required for Archaeology.

This technology will be used to capture 3D images from megalithic complexes and passage tomb sites throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. This data will aid archaeologists and heritage managers in identifying human-made symbols on stones and differentiate these markings from weather-related wear or natural cracks in the stone.

The resulting database will facilitate archaeologists in their search for symbols with common characteristics and help determine relationships, possibly revealing clues as to what these symbols once represented. This project welcomes international liaisons, and plans to expand beyond Ireland in hopes of making the dataset available internationally.

This project is funded through the UCD New Interdisciplinary Initiatives Fun (NIIF).


Dr Anthony Ventresque
School of
Computer Science

Prof. Mark Keane
School of
Computer Science

Prof. Muiris O’Sullivan
School of
Archaeology