Micro-RTI as a novel technology for the investigation and documentation of archaeological textiles

Y. Goldman, R. Linn, O. Shamir, M. Weinstein-Evron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Textiles are among the most informative items among archaeological finds. However, their physical and chemical characteristics and the effect of prolonged burial make them particularly sensitive and difficult to investigate and conserve. In keeping with conservation ethics and in order to ensure the preservation of textiles while allowing maximal retrieval of information, advanced research tools are required. Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) is an imaging technique which uses reflected light to record the three-dimensional characteristics of the surface of objects. This study investigated the implementation of Micro-RTI - a novel RTI technology using a microscope - for the examination and documentation of archaeological textiles. The technique allows the capture, examination, documentation and presentation of fine surface details which often cannot be identified by ordinary photography. In this study, an assemblage of textiles of different periods from the Judean Desert, Israel, was examined. Comparison of images made by several techniques in parallel showed that Micro-RTI provides the most comprehensive information about the textiles including a significant advantage in the visual representation of the weave, the fibers, the surface and patterns of decay and erosion. The results of this study demonstrate the significant potential of Micro-RTI technology for the research and documentation of archaeological textiles.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Archaeological textiles
  • Judean Desert cave
  • Micro-RTI
  • Textile deterioration
  • Textile documentation
  • Textile structure
  • Textile surface

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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