Advanced photographic methods in studying ship graffiti from medieval churches in Nessebar


  • Zdravka Georgieva PhD Student at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton
  • Nayden Prahov Bulgarian Center for Underwater Archaeology; Archaeological Institute with Museum – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia
  • Miglena Raykovska Gigascan Bulgaria Ltd.; Institute of Information and Communication Technologies – Bulgarian Academy of Science, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia
  • Kristen Jones PhD Student at the Department of Geography & Planning at Queen‘s University
  • Kristy Lee-Seaton Gigascan Bulgaria Ltd., 83 Ralevitsa Str., 1618 Sofia


ship graffiti, Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), Close-range Photo- grammetry, Gigapixel panorama photography, medieval churches, Nessebar


This article discusses the application of advanced computational photographic techniques in recording and surveying graffiti from medieval and post-medieval churches in the historical town of Nessebar on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), Close-range photogrammetry, and Gigapixel panorama photography were used in a project for the documentation and research of historical graffiti in four churches in Nessebar. The project aims to create a complete record and database of these important historical monuments accord- ing to modern standards making the most of advanced technical opportunities for scientific documentation. The authors demonstrate the advantages of these techniques in the recording and the study of the graffiti in greater detail than was possible before, as well as in the assess- ment of their state of preservation and the opportunities for their publication and presentation at high standards. In order to evaluate the performance of the methods during the analysis process, the novel dataset of ship graffiti was compared to earlier research studies.






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