COSCH Case Studies COSCH Case Studies

Seven case studies implementing 3D spatial and spectral documentation of material cultural heritage were realised in 2015 and 2016. The aim of these case studies is to offer in-depth investigation, enabling a good understanding of selected techniques and processes in 3D spatial and spectral documentation, applied to a particular cultural heritage object or site.



Specialist 3D recording techniques have not been as widely applied to documentation and study of numismatics as in other areas of cultural heritage. Numismatic records, publications and online resources rely predominantly on 2D photography. Such visual representations are not accurate records in terms of 3D dimensional analysis and spectroscopic information. The purpose of this exploratory case study is to apply a number of 3D techniques to record historic silver coins, compare and evaluate the results; test 3D visualisation techniques to present multimodal results with meta- and paradata.

The silver Roman denarii used in the study raise many interesting questions concerning their provenance, authenticity, design and iconography, purpose of issue and historic usage. The coins also pose a considerable recording challenge due to particular material and surface properties, some of which may not be original, but a result of extensive cleaning. The case study is expected to contribute to a better understanding of the surface characteristics of historic coins. The influence of directional reflectance (BRDF) in the appearance of heritage metallic surfaces will be investigated, and how this may be estimated from multi-illumination image sets. The advantages of multispectral image capture to be gained over conventional trichromatic (R,G,B) colour imaging will be analysed. Functions of the software that should be created for end-users will be described. Examples and explanation of 3D techniques that may be adopted as standard in museum documentation of numismatic objects will be offered, to replace — where appropriate — 2D representations. A guide to good documentation practice will be compiled, including relevant digital preservation guidelines.

The project is led by

Dr Anna Bentkowska-Kafel, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London, (expressions of interest are welcome).

Collaborators (Nov 2014):

  • Eryk Bunsch, Laboratory for 3D documentation, Documentation Department, Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanów, Warsaw
  • Dr Julio del Hoyo Melendez, Laboratory of Analysis and Non-Destructive Investigation of Heritage Objects, National Museum in Kraków
  • Lindsay MacDonald, Dept of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London
  • Dr Dirk Rieke-Zapp, Breuckmann GmbH, Meersburg
  • Robert Sitnik, Institute of Micromechanics and Photonics, Faculty of Mechatronics, Warsaw University of Technology
  • Dr Kamilla Twardowska, Research and Education, National Museum in Kraków
  • Dr Miroslav Hain, Department of Optoelectronic Measuring Methods, Institute of Measurement Science, Sloval Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
  • Vera Moitinho de Almeida, Science & Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC), The Cyprus Institute
  • Aurore Mathys, Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium
  • Christian Degrigny, Haute Ecole Arc Conservation-restauration, Neuchâtel


  • MACDONALD, L., HESS, M., MOITINHO DE ALMEIDA, V. (forthcoming 2016). 3D Reconstruction of Roman Coins from Photometric Stereo. Journal of Electronic Imaging, special issue "Image Processing for Cultural Heritage". (paper submitted)
  • MACDONALD, L., BENTKOWSKA-KAFEL, A., HAIN, M., BUNSCH, E., DEL HOYO MELENDEZ, J., RIEKE-ZAPP, D., SITNIK, R., MOITINHO DE ALMEIDA, V., MATHYS, A., VALACH, J., HESS, M.  (2016). "Multidisciplinary Analysis of Roman Coins" (poster). 2nd International Conference on Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology, SEAHA, Oxford, 20-21 June 2016.
  • BENTKOWSKA-KAFEL, A., DEL HOYO MELENDEZ, J.M., MACDONALD, L.W., MATHYS, A., MOITINHO DE ALMEIDA, V. (2016). "Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage in 6Ds. The interdisciplinary connections". In Keep the Revolution Going. Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, CAA2015, Sienna. S. Campana, R. Scopigno, G. Carpentiero & M. Cirillo (eds.). Oxford: Archaeopress. Vol.1, pp. 953-962. (ISBN 9781784913389).
  • MOITINHO DE ALMEIDA, V. (2016). Geometrical comparison of 3D digital models. Cost Action TD1201 - STSM Report,

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