Digital enhancement and photogrammetric recording of La Joquera Levantine rock art (Borriol, Castelló)




Levantine art, rock art, digital archaeology, digital photogrammetry, World Heritage, virtualization


The heritage values of Levantine rock art, as UNESCO World Heritage since 1998 and as an Asset of Cultural Interest since 1985 according to the Spanish Heritage Act, together with its fragile nature, demand developing initiatives aimed at regularly revisiting and monitoring the sites and updating any existing records (descriptions, tracings, photographs, etc.). This is especially important for long-known sites, such as La Joquera, discovered and first graphically recorded in 1930 and for which these records have not been updated for decades. Such revisits should be aimed to: a) asses the integrity of the finds since their discovery or since the last revision; b) test whether current digital technologies can improve previous interpretations and reproductions of the art preserved there; and c) produce accurate three-dimensional (3D) photorealistic models that capture the 3D nature of this heritage and even improve the visualisation of motifs. These integral approaches are relevant to the qualitative and quantitative study of the art, as well as to its preservation and monitoring, and creation of digital archives to ensure a virtual future for Levantine art. This paper reports the technologies and methods used, the challenges faced (in terms of space available, lighting restrictions and the visual interference caused by the protective fence), and the results obtained at La Joquera rock art site as part of the 2D and 3D digital recording of the rock surface, the colour and the motifs depicted. Highlights of this paper include the identification of previously invisible weaponry and adornments of the only archer preserved on this site, as well as some other incomplete remains. Deliverables also include the production of a photorealistic model on which colour-intensified tracings are projected. This facilitates the identification of art that is now extremely faded and offers a closer look at what the site may have looked like originally.


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Author Biographies

Inés Domingo, Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats

She leads an ERC Consolidator Grant LArcHer addressing the many facets of Levantine rock art, bridging the gap between Archaeological and Heritage approaches to this heritage with a multidisciplinary team. Combining Archaeology, Heritage Science and Information Technologies, she aims to achieve a holistic approach and contribute to creating a digital future for this millenarian legacy.

Peyman Javadi, University of Barcelona

He is a Geomatics Engineer in the ERC Consolidator Grant LArcHer Project, applying his expertise in Geodesy and Photogrammetry to Levantine rock art documentation. and 3D modelling.

Dídac Roman, Jaume I University

His research has been devoted to advancing knowledge of two key research areas: the continuities and changes in the last Palaeolithic transitions (Middle-Upper Palaeolithic and Pleistocene-Holocene) and the archaeological context of Iberian Mediterranean rock art, subjects on which he leads several research projects.


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How to Cite

Domingo, I., Javadi, P., & Roman, D. (2024). Digital enhancement and photogrammetric recording of La Joquera Levantine rock art (Borriol, Castelló). Virtual Archaeology Review, 15(30), 110–122.