Photogrammetry is a method for surveying an object, structure, or even an entire site, in three dimensions. It involves the acquisition of a large number of images (ensuring comprehensive coverage), which are then analysed and processed using specific algorithmic software to add volume or bulk. When combined with various measurements, photogrammetry generates images, to scale, in two or three dimensions. Based on the principles of parallax and stereoscopy, this method is particularly useful for digitising archaeological objects or sites. The discipline’s development is such that today it can generate 3D reconstructions swiftly, and with such accuracy that researchers are able to work, measure and study remains off-site.
Photogrammetry is steadily being taken up by every archaeological discipline, from parietal art to urban archaeology and the study of objects retrieved from excavations. It also offers new avenues for research, such as in deep-water archaeological deposits, where photogrammetry is now replacing drawings done by hand.