Reflectance Transformation Imaging

Assyrian Attack on Alammu

In Sennacherib's "Palace Without a Rival" hung a series of reliefs depicting the attack on the city of Alammu and subsequent deportation of its citizens. The RTI image provides the ability to research the reliefs more closely, and provides unique information on the texture of the reliefs and ways in which they were carved.

The Lachish Reliefs

Room XXXVI of Sennacherib's "Palace Without a Rival" depicts one of the most famous set of Assyrian Reliefs. These reliefs depict the Assyrian army's attack on the Judean city of Lachish, and the subsequent deportation of its inhabitants. In this particular scene, two young boys walk along with their fathers while Assyrian soldiers flay the skin off of two Judean officials.

Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)

RTI is an imaging technique that involves taking a series (40+) of still photographs of a stationary object with the lighting/flash for each picture in a different location. Each flash position is at the same distance from the object but at a different position and angle, creating a virtual dome of light around the artifact. These pictures are then processed using several programs, the end result of which is a single high-resolution image that allows the viewer to manipulate a virtual light source around the image in real time. RTI allows for detailed research on any artifact that contains texture and that benefits from being viewed in high-resolution and with illumination. Common objects that are studied using RTI include small objects such as cuneiform tablets or other small inscriptions, cylinder seals, clay figures, manuscripts; and large objects such as rock reliefs, large inscriptions, and statues. RTI is also a method for digital conservation.


Require Digital Conservation of Your Artifacts?

Contact me if you would like digital conservation of artifacts in your museum, school, or library using RTI.