A number of colleagues responded to my post yesterday on three-dimensional modeling in Mediterranean archaeology, and this is an exciting thing. To show that I’m not a mere observer to the trend, I wanted to post a few 3d models that Brandon Olson and I developed over the past year.
As I have blogged about before, we modeled our trenches at the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project using Agisoft Photoscan, and these models contributed to our final trench plans.
Yesterday, as I finished processing a few images from our summer work at Polis-Chrysochous, I uploaded the results to p3d.in, a new service that provides online support for 3d imaging projects. Sebastian Heath introduced me to this site through his collection of 3D images from Kenchreai and elsewhere. (Here’s a quick peek into how this kind of model might be integrated into the online publication of a site.)The site was easy to use and accepted .obj files produced by Agisoft. I was able to link texture files to .obj file easily to produce a fairly decent looking model. The site performs best in the most recent versions of Google Chrome. To see the images best, make sure to set the shading to “shadeless”. This application seems to require a good bit of processor so it might not work on every computer. It is also in beta, so it is not entirely stable.
I’ve shown images of the trench in Excavation Unit 16 on the site of Vigla at Pyla-Koutsopetria before, but now I have uploaded our 3D model to p3d.in:
The stone-lined storage pit to the north of the trench wall is clearly visible in this model as is the use of roughly worked stones on the fortification wall to create irregular faces.
I have also uploaded a model of our trench from Excavation Unit 15 on the site of Vigla at Pyla-Koutsopetria. This was Aaron Barth’s trench. Not only is the wall from the first phase of construction at Vigla visible, but a plaster floor that over ran the wall and was buried in wall fall can be seen in the north scarp.
I’ve also uploaded a few examples of architectural detail prepared by Brandon Olson this summer from Polis on Cyprus. The images show key areas of the South Basilica church on the site (for plans of the church and a preliminary discussion go here). The biggest downside of this at present is that there is no way to add a scale or north arrow to the images. I’ve oriented all the images.
For example, here’s a detail of the south wall of the narthex. You can clearly see the lower courses of the arched openings in the south wall of the narthex that were later filled with unmortared stones. You can also see the western most (and only remaining) pier of the south porch at the far right in the model.
The next image is from the north aisle of the basilica and illustrates the substantial buttresses built along the north side of the north aisle wall. We have argued that this buttress likely supported part of a barrel vaulted roof.
Finally, we have a massive and complex model of the south wall and aisle of the basilica including a series of three elite burials, the east wall of the south portico, and the foundation wall of the south aisle. Of particular interest are the tombs and the relationship between the south portico wall and the south wall of the apse and south aisle. Also of interest is the faint remains of a (late?) 7th century cobble wall projecting south from the south portico wall. The walls to the south of main nave are clearly earlier than the basilica. The cobble foundation to the left (or west) of the image may be the foundation for the Hellenistic city wall.
This model involved over 350 individual photographs and took over 5 days to process in Agisoft.