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Sub-surface terahertz imaging through uneven surfaces: visualizing Neolithic wall paintings in Çatalhöyük

Walker, G. C., Bowen, J. W., Matthews, W., Roychowdhury, S., Labaune, J., Mourou, G., Menu, M., Hodder, I. and Jackson, J. B. (2013) Sub-surface terahertz imaging through uneven surfaces: visualizing Neolithic wall paintings in Çatalhöyük. Optics Express, 21 (7). 8126-8134 . ISSN 1094-4087

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1364/OE.21.008126

Abstract/Summary

Pulsed terahertz imaging is being developed as a technique to image obscured mural paintings. Due to significant advances in terahertz technology, portable systems are now capable of operating in unregulated environments and this has prompted their use on archaeological excavations. August 2011 saw the first use of pulsed terahertz imaging at the archaeological site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey, where mural paintings dating from the Neolithic period are continuously being uncovered by archaeologists. In these particular paintings the paint is applied onto an uneven surface, and then covered by an equally uneven surface. Traditional terahertz data analysis has proven unsuccessful at sub-surface imaging of these paintings due to the effect of these uneven surfaces. For the first time, an image processing technique is presented, based around Gaussian beam-mode coupling, which enables the visualization of the obscured painting.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:31531
Publisher:Optical Society

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