Unlike the singular face at the beginning of archaeology as a discipline, machine vision applications will generate, once embedded into the landscape of ambient surveillance infrastructure, an endless profusion of computational death masks that will join an already growing population of virtual objects excavated by optical means in contemporary archaeology and conservation with the help of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). Based on the same principle of computational depth perception through variable shading, RTI allows the researcher to extract a virtual reproduction of an artefact and subsequently relight it from any direction within a virtual hemisphere, allowing the artefact to disclose itself through a spatiotemporal assemblage that offers greater visibility and legibility of texture and detail such as surface inscriptions. This optical reverse engineering over successive decades becomes itself a fossilised record of the development of different imaging technologies that inscribe themselves onto the object: As the object seemingly unfolds into greater legibility, so the palimpsest of visual technologies accumulates and densifies into its own technical accretion.