Aerial Photography and Visualisation for Built Heritage - PhD Portfolio by Kieran Baxter
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Friday, 2 March 2012

Old Scatness Wheelhouse Reconstruction Model


This model is based on photogrammetry from pole aerial photography of the experimental reconstruction of an Iron Age wheelhouse built at Old Scatness, Shetland.


This orthographic side view with simulated light shows the profile of the turf roof. This was built at a low pitch angle to prevent wind damage.


This orthographic top view with simulated light shows the entire turfed roof. The windswept northwest side give some indication of he sites exposure to the weather coming off of the Atlantic ocean. The coast line lies just 50m to the northwest of the reconstruction. The scale and orientation given here are based on the red and white meter sticks placed around the wheelhouse. They remain approximate as they haven't been verified with known points on the site and may include a factor of error.


This pole aerial photograph of the wheelhouse shows another reconstruction in the background which has not yet been roofed. The excavations at Old Scatness, on which these reconstruction have been based, lie just beyond this photograph.



These photographs of the interior were taken with the assistance of Kieran Duncan and Mark Grossi. It is believed that the stone piers visible in the first image (the spokes of the 'wheel') were intended to reduce the area of the roof while maximizing (and compartmentalizing) living space.

I hope to use imagery of this reconstruction to inform my interpretation of the wheelhouses at nearby Jarlshof. The work here may also have relevance to the broch and roundhouse structures with consideration of the differences in underlying structure.

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