Knapped Flint Tool

To change the light direction, click the lightbulb button on the left of the viewer, and click and drag over the viewer with the mouse. Click the question mark button for more guidance on using the viewer.

RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) is a valuable technique for digitally capturing knapped objects, as their numerous facets can be particularly difficult to convey using conventional photography.

Being able to digitally move the light source enables the viewer to observe the details of flake scars that are angled in numerous different directions, using a single image, rather than having to compare multiple photographs. This makes it much easier to make archaeological inferences, such as reconstructing the knapping process, as well as giving a better sense of the three-dimensional shape of the object.

Examples of Visual Effects in RTI Viewer

Flint tool (front) with normals visualisation Flint tool (reverse) with normals visualisation

Normals visualisation creates a false colour image with each pixel’s ‘surface normal’ direction mapped to a colour palette - indicating which direction each surface is facing.

Flint tool (front) with specular enhancement Flint tool (reverse) with specular enhancement

Specular enhancement mathematically increases the image contrast, exaggerating the surface texture depth of the item. In the RTI viewer software, this effect is overlaid over the interactive image, meaning the light source is still moveable.



Knapped flint tool


Knapped flint tool


Archaeology Collection


University of Exeter



Sample Owner

Archaeology Department

File Creator

Daniel Brock


All rights reserved in the metadata and all media by the owner unless otherwise indicated.

Format (1)

Reflectance Transformation Imaging file and associated views.

Format (2)