iWitness and archaeological artifact mapping of a million year old paleolitic stone handaxe


Alexandra Sumner and Andrew Riddle are Ph.D. students in Paleolithic and Arctic archaeology respectively at the University of Toronto in Canada. They have developed a novel methodology for use in archaeological artifact analysis using a combination of the iWitness photogrammetry program and a three-dimensional computer modeling system. 


Using iWitness to first replicate a million-year-old paleolithic stone handaxe in point-cloud form and then exporting the data as a DXF file to a 3D imaging system, Sumner and Riddle exemplify a cost-effective approach for artefact analysis in virtual form. 


This soon to be published methodology offers a versatile new approach for not only studying often rare and inaccessible objects but it also enables scholars from sometimes distant regions to send either replications of a specimen of interest in virtual form or send a number of simple digital images of the object for replication by the receiver at his or hers home institution.  Along with the 3D imaging system, iWitness presents the archaeological and paleoanthropological researcher with a new and important tool with which to both examine and share valuable scientific data.


Million-year-old paleolithic stone handaxe in iWitness

iWitness 3D view of paleolithic stone handaxe

Back to top