We are currently digitising the remaining ogham stones in the National Museum of Ireland collection. Many thanks to NMI for facilitating the work and to the Discovery Programme for carrying out the 3d capture and modelling. The following records have recently been added to the website. The 3d models will follow as soon as they are processed:
List of new ogham records:
The ogham stones in Musáem Chorca Dhuibhne (West Kerry Museum) have also been digitised and the 3d models are now available:
Training was held in Ballyferriter last week in the use of photography-based Structure from Motion/Photogrammetry to create 3d models of ogham stones and other carved stones. Participants from the local area attended presentations by Gary Devlin (Discovery Programme) and contributed to practical discussions chaired by Nora White (Ogham in 3D, DIAS) and Isabel Bennett (Musáem Chorca Dhuibhne) at the Lárionad in Ballyferriter over two days. Thanks to favourable weather conditions, training also included a field school at nearby An Riasc, where participants had an opportunity to practise on some of the wonderful carved stones on site. Míle buíochas le gach duine as teacht. Bhí an-cúpla lá againn go léir!
The Ogham in 3D project is currently entering a new phase of work. We have recently completed the 3D survey of ogham stones in state care and we now have over a quarter of all known ogham stones digitised. However, this still leaves us with approximately 250 ogham stones in Ireland still to survey, along with roughly 40 ogham stones in areas such as Wales, the Isle of Man, Devon and Cornwall, and Scotland.
We will be introducing a couple of innovations to our survey methods in the coming year. Since 2012 ogham surveys have predominantly been carried out using 3D object scanners, operated by expert surveyors from the Discovery Programme. Following recent advances in the capabilities of Photogrammetry/Structure from Motion software, to more quickly and accurately produce 3D models from photographs, we started to test this alternative 3D capture method. The quality of the results so far have proven comparable to scanning. The advantages of using Photogrammetry/Structure from Motion are that a digital camera and the processing software are the only equipment essentially required for this method. This means that it is far more cost effective than laser or structured light scanning. It also means that anyone with a digital camera, a basic knowledge of photography and basic IT skills can produce a 3D model themselves with just a small amount of training.
Therefore, inspired by the success of similar projects (e.g. ACCORD in Scotland and Roscommon 3D here in Ireland), we have decided to ask local communities to help us with recoding ogham stones in 3D using Photogrammetry/Structure from Motion. As a first step, we approached contacts in Corca Dhuibhne (Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry), the area with the highest concentration of ogham stones in the country, to see if it would be something that might be of interest locally. An information day was organised as an introduction to our proposal for a Community Ogham in 3D project.
Invited speakers talked about the various aspects, from the ogham stones and other monuments which could be recorded as part of the project, to the technical procedure involved and the experiences of other similar community projects. This was followed by an open discussion where it became clear that there is not only an interest locally, but also a great variety of skills that people are willing to bring to the project. Over thirty potential participants attended the session in Ballyferriter and most of those signed up for the next step, which will consist of training. Dates have yet to be set for this but we expect that it will be early in 2016. If this pilot community project proves to be successful, we hope to do the same in other local communities around the country. In this way we will make progress more quickly on recording ogham stones in 3D. In addition, local communities will get a chance to participate in the project, learn new skills and gain a better understanding and appreciation of ogham stones, which will in turn lead to better protection and preservation for these important monuments.
Fieldwork for 2015 has been completed and we now have newly digitised ogham sites, stones and inscriptions (including 3d models of ogham stones) available on our website. As this website is a work in progess, further information on each record is likely to be added in the future.
List of new ogham records:
An Ogham Workshop was planned and organised by Nora White (Ogham in 3D, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) and Edel Bhreathnach (Discovery Programme) to gather together experts in various fields relating to ogham to consider the value of 3D scanning and modelling of ogham stones and to consider future directions for ogham studies, including the gathering of information on the inscriptions, the techniques used and the landscapes of ogham. Plans for the workshop coincided with the 'Trove' exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), which included ten ogham stones from the National Museum of Ireland's collection. IMMA kindly agreed to host the workshop on 6th March last, facilitating a rare and appropriate opportunity of discussing the inscriptions in the presence of a superb selection of ogham stones. The invited participants included those involved in the Ogham in 3D project at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, the Discovery Programme and the National Monuments Service. Along with participants from a number of Irish Universities, experts also travelled from Scotland, Wales and Germany to participate. In addition, representatives from the museum sector, the OPW and two professional sculptors were in attendance.
Download Ogham Workshop summary report
The wonderful 'Trove' exhibition at IMMA, which included a display of ten of the National Museum of Ireland's ogham stone collection, has unfortunately now ended. Thanks to NMI and IMMA, the moving of the stones for the exhibition allowed us the opportunity to capture the stones, which we had not previously been able to scan. 3D models of these ogham stones are now available on our website (new visualisations in the 3d view tab and also in pdf/obj format for downloading) along with photographs, information on the stones, their inscriptions and what is known of their individual stories:
Field work for 2014 has been completed and we now have newly digitised ogham sites, stones and inscriptions (including 3d models of stones in most cases) available on our website. As this is a work in progess, further information on each record is likely to be added in the future.
List of new ogham records:
After a quiet winter Ogham in 3D is now entering phase III of digitising ogham stones in state care, thanks to further funding for this year from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. We look forward to working with the National Monuments Service and the Discovery Programme in capturing at least another 17 ogham stones in 2014. Watch out for the team this Summer in North Kerry, Roscommon, Mayo, Kilkenny, Kildare, Waterford and Cork!
We will be trying out some alternative 3d data capture techniques this year after initial success last year with Structure from Motion (SfM), which uses photography rather than laser scanning to produce 3d models. The image below is a screenshot of 3d model of Maumanorig stone captured using SfM.
In other news we are working with sculptor Séighean Ó Draoi to analyse ogham carving techniques with a view to determining the various tools and styles used by the ogham carvers. The finished report, including a video showing how different types of ogham inscriptions may have been carved, will be added to the website when finished.
The Dingle Peninsula has been visited twice in the last two months by the Ogham in 3D team carrying out field work. On the first trip in May we scanned Kilmalkedar, Ballywiheen (Cathair na gCat) and Maumanorig (Cill na gColmán). On another successful trip last week, Arraglen (on Mount Brandon), Coumeenole (Dún Mór) and Ballymorereagh (Teampall Mancháin) were scanned. Due to unfavourable weather for outdoor work on one of the mornings, the team also scanned five ogham stones in Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne in Ballyiferriter. These ogham stones are currently undergoing digitisation and preparation for the website and the 3D models will also be added as soon as they are processed. Some of this recent field work featured in a TG4 Nuacht report on Tuesday by Seán Mac An tSíthigh on new ogham discoveries in East Kerry. Fionnbarr Moore and Breandán Ó Cíobháin are interviewed in the report regarding these ogham finds.
The Ogham in 3D website was launched yesterday at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. In attendance were representatives of the National Monuments Service, the Discovery Programme and the National Museum of Ireland, as well as academics from many of Ireland's main Universities. Commenting on the launch, Minister Deenihan said: "The importance of Ogham stones cannot be overstated as they are a record of the earliest inscriptions in the Irish language. Some of them date as far back as the 4th Century AD, and represent a monument type that is not only of national, but also international significance. This wonderful project demonstrates the importance of developing synergies with institutions. Such cooperation not only maintains advances in research and contributes to promoting awareness of the rich archaeological heritage of the country, but it also further enhances its protection." The launch also featured on rte and TG4 news yesterday evening.
In other ogham news, we recently resumed field work for this year and have already scanned a further 10 stones in Sate Care at Drumlohan in Co. Waterford, as well as 2 extra ogham stones from the nearby promontory fort of Knockmahon. These newly captured ogham stones are in the process of being digitised and added to the website.
In August 2012, the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (School of Celtic Studies) made a submission to the National Monuments Service (NMS), Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, seeking support for its Ogham in 3D project. The proposal was to undertake 3-D laser scanning, research and digitisation of a number of ogham stones, focusing on those designated as National Monuments. The submission received a favorable response and, following discussions, a pilot project was resourced, under the supervision of the National Monuments Service, that not only would support advancements of excellence in research but also assist the National Monuments Service in furthering its protection and conservation programs.
In October 2012 work began on this pilot project in collaboration with the Discovery Programme whose expertise in 3D capture and modelling has greatly benefitted the project. In addition to the scanning and modelling of 18 ogham stones located in various parts of the country (Kerry, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wicklow), this new website has been created and prepared by Jean-Francois Bucas (IT Systems Administrator at DIAS) and Nora White (Principal Investigator on Ogham in 3D project) and is expected to be launched this spring.