Nuzi (modern Yorghan Tepe)
• photomodeling & 3D printing •
page added February 14, 2013
New methods for museums to study nd display their objects. This page collocates discussion and results of a collaborative photomodeling & 3D printing project undertaken in partnership with the Semitic Museum, Harvard University.
Nuzi (ancient kingdom of Arrapha, in Mitanni) is located in northeastern Iraq, near the modern town of Kirkuk. It was excavated by various American teams during the late 1920s and early 1930s. The site is marked by a low central mound whose habitation spans from the prehistoric era through the Mittanian / Middle Assyrian period (although there are scant remains of later occupations). It is from that last major occupation level that more than 5000 tablets were found that chronicle several generations of the local Hurrian population (from about 1435 to 1340 BCE). The texts cover the social, economic, religious, and legal customs of the inhabitants.
Although known for its extensive archives, the problem put before us did not concern the inscriptions, but focused on a pair of terracotta lions that probably once flanked a statue of the goddess Ishtar in a temple (so-called Temple G29, Stratum II) at the site and that were found smashed, most likely at the hands of the Assyrians who destroyed the city sometime between 1350 and 1300 BCE.
The imminent return of the UPenn lion created several problems:
Learning Sites innovative photomodeling techniques provided the solutions.
Photomodeling (creating accurate, detailed, and high-resolution 3D digital models from only photographs) frees museums from dependence on expensive laser scanners, continuous software upgrades, reliance on specialized personnel, and setting up specialized equipment. Instead, high-quality 3D models can be created simply, efficiently, and cheaply from photographs taken with normal digital cameras (even from smartphone or tablet cameras); although good lighting is an advantage, it is not necessary. Just point and shoot; collect a dozen or so shots from around the object; run it through our software; and the result is a 3D model that can then be viewed in any number of interactive 3D environments, such as 3D pdfs or the Unity game engine.
The next step was to virtually shrink the UPenn lion's 3D computer model so that the parts lined up with the smaller scale of the Semitic Museum's paws. With the computer models so adjusted and overlain, we could extract a 3D computer model of the missing sections that fit precisely into the paw fragments, providing the Semitic Museum with a complete lion so that visitors can appreciate how their pieces would have looked in sculptural context.
Harvard Gazette (Dec. 4, 2012)
Semitic Museum News (Nov. 29, 2012)
Time Magazine, Style Section (Jan. 30, 2013)
Wired Magazine (Dec. 10, 2012)
|: These pages are in no way to be construed as a final or complete publication of the material. The results presented here are preliminary and for reserach and comment only. For further information about this material or the techniques discussed, please contact Learning Sites.|
page created: February 14, 2013
page updated: February\ 14, 2013
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