A photogrammetric analysis of cuneiform tablets for the purpose of digital reconstruction

Eugene Chng, Andrew Lewis

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Despite the advances made in the recording and cataloguing of cuneiform tablets, there is still much work to be done in the field of cuneiform reconstruction. The processes employed to rebuild cuneiform fragments still rely on glue and putty, with manual matching of fragments from catalogues or individual collections. The reconstruction process is hindered by inadequate information about the size and shape of fragments, and the inaccessibility of the original fragments makes finding information difficult in some collections. Most catalogue data associated with cuneiform tablets concerns the content of the text, and not the physical appearance of complete or fragmented tablets. This paper shows how photogrammetric analysis of cuneiform tablets can be used to retrieve physical information directly from source materials without the risk of human error. An initial scan of 8000 images from the CDLI database has already revealed interesting new information about the tablets held in cuneiform archives, and offered new avenues for research within the cuneiform reconstruction process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Cuneiform Reconstruction
  • Photogrammetry
  • Assyriology
  • Archaeometrics


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