A methodological approach to the study of prehistoric cave engravings: the case of Cova Eirós (Lugo, Spain)

Alia Vázquez-Martínez, Benito Vilas-Estévez, Miguel Carrero-Pazos, Arturo de Lombera Hermida, Ramón Fábregas-Valcarce, Xosé Pedro Rodríguez-Álvarez


Near to the village of Triacastela in the province of Lugo, it is located Cova Eirós. Inside the cave, diverse engravings from Palaeolithic age are found; which are being studied at this moment.
Report these Palaeolithic engravings–narrow grooves and with less depth- which are disperse in the walls of the cave, it has not been an easy task. The characteristics that Cova Eirós presents, make them impossible the direct contact with the engraving panel because the contact is very harmful when studying it. Up to this moment, they were used different conventional methods to register the engravings, which were based on artificial light with grazing-light at the panel, to generate an effect of lights and shadows to get a better visualization of the motifs represented. Simultaneously, while the engravings are illuminated they are photographed from different viewpoints and through the photographs taken the motifs are drawn in a paper.
In order to generate a more precise documentation of the motifs, it is raised here the possibility of resorting to new methods of register that the more recent technologies offer. Thus, we make use of different techniques based on photogrammetry of near object, as for example, the Radiance Scaling, for trying to get a better visualization of the motifs, removing part of subjective that the previous methods presented, and without direct contact with the panel in the moment of register.