El Morro National Monument, United States of America

General Attributes
Project NameEl Morro National Monument
CountryUnited States of America
Spatial DataDownload (Links to all available data types will be emailed)
Point Cloud Viewer
Data Bounds (approx.)

Data Types

Data Type Size Device Name Device Type
Photogrammetry - Terrestrial3.91 GBCanon EOS 6D DSLR
Site DescriptionFrom a main east-west trail, dating from antiquity, rises the great sandstone promontory of El Morro. Over the centuries, those who traveled this trail stopped to camp at the shaded oasis beneath these cliffs. They left the carved evidence of their passing -- symbols, names, dates, and fragments of their stories that register the cultures and history intermingled on the rock. Explorers and travelers have known of the pool by the great rock for centuries. A valuable water source and resting place, many who passed by inscribed their names and messages in the rock next to petroglyphs left by ancient Puebloans. The ruins of a large pueblo located on top of El Morro were vacated by the time the Spaniards arrived in the late 1500s, and its inhabitants may have moved to the nearby pueblos in Zuni and Acoma. As the American West grew in population, El Morro became a break along the trail for those passing through and a destination for sightseers. As the popularity of the area increased, so did the tradition of carving inscriptions on the rock. To preserve the historical importance of the area and initiate preservation efforts on the old inscriptions, El Morro was established as a national monument by a presidential proclamation on December 8, 1906.
Project DescriptionIn June 2015, Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) embarked on a project in collaboration with the US National Park Service and the Center of Preservation Research of the University of Colorado, Denver to capture important inscriptions and petroglyphs at El Morro.The CHI team used photogrammetry at El Morro to gather geometric data from the Inscription Rock. Because this technique allows relatively quick and easy 3D capture of large areas, it was used to acquire extensive data for the project. One of photogrammetry's strengths for this type of project, which includes very fine details like those in inscriptions, is that it allowed the CHI team to collect fine detail where needed and less data for the surrounding areas and cliff faces, which show the larger context. The team turned to photogrammetry to capture large-scale parts of the site. The resulting measurable 3D data can be used into the future for monitoring the site for changes from environmental wear, and it also serves as high-quality data for the historical record. The historical record is critical because of the fragility of the petroglyphs and inscriptions at the site. The team also captured image data from the inscriptions with Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), which will continue to be used in the future by interpreters, Cultural Heritage Imaging was able to shed light on these mysterious inscriptions at El Morro.
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Additional InformationLearn more
Collection Date2016-02-04 to 2016-02-10
Publication Date2020-06-22
License TypeCC BY-NC-SA
CollectorsCultural Heritage Imaging
FundersNational Park Service
PartnersCenter of Preservation Research (CoPR) , CyArk
Site AuthorityNational Park Service
2020: El Morro National Monument - Photogrammetry - Terrestrial . Collected by Cultural Heritage Imaging . Distributed by Open Heritage 3D. https://doi.org/10.26301/8qrh-d712

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