Surface topography of cuneiform tablets

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Title: Surface topography of cuneiform tablets
Author: Barbu-McInnis, Monica
Abstract: Ancient Cuneiform tablets consists of one of the oldest forms of writings in the world. These clay tablets act as a link between our time and a time thousands of years ago. The surface of these Cuneiform tablets consists of wedge shaped characters and cylinder seal impressions. These features present many challenges to photographers as well as epistolary scholars. Modern technology and state of the art equipment can ease these hindrances and unlock secrets of past civilizations. Using surface topography techniques previously applied to intaglio prints and lithic artifacts as well as implementation of modern digital image processing techniques, images of the Cuneiform text are displayed in their highest potential of detail and clarity. These techniques not only provide a qualitative result of the surface topography, but more importantly, they present a quantitative analysis of the surface of the tablet. From the study of the surface topography of the Cuneiform tablet it was concluded that five thousands years ago scribes were using contemporary image techniques such as edge enhancement to provide a clear display of their work.
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Date: 1999-05

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