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Optical Engineering

Hyperspectral analysis of cultural heritage artifacts: pigment material diversity in the Gough Map of Britain
Author(s): Di Bai; David W. Messinger; David Howell
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Paper Abstract

The Gough Map, one of the earliest surviving maps of Britain, was created and extensively revised over the 15th century. In 2015, the map was imaged using a hyperspectral imaging system while in the collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University. The goal of the collection of the hyperspectral image (HSI) of the Gough Map was to address questions such as enhancement of faded text for reading and analysis of the pigments used during its creation and revision. In particular, pigment analysis of the Gough Map will help historians understand the material diversity of its composition and potentially the timeline of, and methods used in, the creation and revision of the map. Multiple analysis methods are presented to analyze a particular pigment in the Gough Map with an emphasis on understanding the within-material diversity, i.e., the number and spatial layout of distinct red pigments. One approach for understanding the number of distinct materials in a scene (i.e., endmember selection and dimensionality estimation) is the Gram matrix approach. Here, this method is used to study the within-material differences of pigments in the map with common visual color. The application is a pigment analysis tool that extracts visually common pixels (here, the red pigments) from the Gough Map and estimates the material diversity of the pixels. Results show that the Gough Map is composed of at least five kinds of dominant red pigments with a particular spatial pattern. This research provides a useful tool for historical geographers and cartographic historians to analyze the material diversity of HSI of cultural heritage artifacts.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 June 2017
PDF: 11 pages
Opt. Eng. 56(8) 081805 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.56.8.081805
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 56, Issue 8
Show Author Affiliations
Di Bai, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
David W. Messinger, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
David Howell, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)

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