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Palaeolithic cave 3D modelling

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The conservation of cultural heritage has gained importance in recent years. The balance between exploitation-dissemination and conservation of heritage is difficult, especially in subterranean environments such as cavities and caves containing rock art. The documentation and three-dimensional modelling of rock art sites allows different products to be obtained: from a technical point of view, obtaining an accurate, detailed and non-destructive 3D model of these underground sites is the fundamental basis for their conservation, analysis and restoration; from an informative point of view, the creation of physical replicas based on 3D printers, virtual visits with augmented reality glasses are some of the most popular strategies to open these protected sites to the general public.

In this process of documentation and 3D modelling, different geotechnologies were applied in several caves with Palaeolithic cave art in northern Spain, declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and therefore restricted to public access. These studies applied a combination of terrestrial laser scanning and near-range photogrammetry to generate 3D surface geometry, as well as photorealistic textured 3D models and cartographic products.

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