As part of the Digital Classicist London seminar 2019 series Kelly McClinton (Bloomington IN) will present the topic “The Application of Photogrammetric 3D Modeling to Roman Domestic Space”.
Across many sites in Italy today, Roman domestic spaces face particular dangers of destruction and damage. In Pompeii, many houses are open to the air and accessible to tourists. While efforts are underway to preserve these areas, and the frescoes in particular, after excavation even new finds begin to decay from the moment that they are exposed to the air. Digital photogrammetry has been used for the documentation, preservation, and reconstruction of archaeological sites, small objects, and full-size sculpture. However, photogrammetry is also well-suited to the documentation and reconstruction of Roman houses. Unlike traditional photography, photogrammetry can offer 3D documentation, capturing seams, cracks, and warps in the structure of the architecture, along with the affixed frescoes. In the case of an entire room, it can also preserve the orientation and visual impression of multiple walls in situ . For walls that are only preserved in fragments, the extent of damage can be assessed, and measurements (such as depth of plaster) gathered remotely.
Our team has recently begun a campaign to document the material record of Roman wall paintings in Italy. Certainly, many examples are known from Pompeii, but in recent years other less-famous examples have also come to light through modern excavation efforts. In the process of documenting these paintings, our ultimate goal is to encourage the creation of an online database where walls, rooms, and even entire houses will be digitally available for viewing and study. This paper will discuss the results of several photogrammetric campaigns conducted during 2017, 2018, and 2019 and propose a potential open-access, online platform for viewing and organizing extant ancient Roman domestic spaces. By participating in this conference, we hope to gather feedback about our proposed project, further the dialogue surrounding the practice of Digital Classics, and share our experiences with other teams pursuing similar research.
To view a sample of these results, please visit: http://www.kellymcclinton.com/house-of-marcus-lucretius-project
Livecast at Digital Classicist London YouTube channel.