As a preservation starting point, allow me to suggest two extremely accurate and inexpensive 3D imaging techniques: Highlight Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and Close Range Photogrammetry. Last summer we tested the practical application of digital photo 3D imaging workflows to detect and document conditions at historic sites and collections. The project was documented in real time at the project web site and all the project blog posts, videos, equipment lists and outside links are still there: http://okeeffeimagingproject.wordpress.com/ .
These two technologies capture tons of point-in-time detail about the texture and tool marks, as well as condition of the inscriptions. and precise “blue-print” digital drawings can be created from photogrammetry assemblies in Adobe creative suite. Explore the web site and feel free to email with any questions. This technology is mature and despite the way it initially looks – it is REAL DO IT YOURSELF technology, with a little training.