3D survey for the archaeological study and virtual reconstruction of the “Sanctuary of Isis” in the ancient Lilybaeum (Italy)

Leonarda Fazio, Mauro Lo Brutto

Abstract

In recent years, the use of three-dimensional (3D) models in cultural and archaeological heritage for documentation and dissemination purposes has increased. New geomatics technologies have significantly reduced the time spent on fieldwork surveys and data processing. The archaeological remains can be documented and reconstructed in a digital 3D environment thanks to the new 3D survey technologies. Furthermore, the products generated by modern surveying technologies can be reconstructed in a virtual environment on effective archaeological bases and hypotheses coming from a detailed 3D data analysis. However, the choice of technologies that should be used to get the best results for different archaeological remains and how to use 3D models to improve knowledge and dissemination to a wider audience are open questions.

This paper deals with the use of terrestrial laser scanners and photogrammetric surveys for the virtual reconstruction of an archaeological site. In particular, the work describes the study for the 3D documentation and virtual reconstruction of the “Sanctuary of Isis” in Lilybaeum, the ancient city of Marsala (southern Italy). The "Sanctuary of Isis" is the only Roman sacred building known in this archaeological area. Based on the survey data, it has been possible to recreate the original volumes of the ancient building and rebuild the two best-preserved floors –a geometric mosaic and an opus spicatum– for a first digital reconstruction of the archaeological complex in a 3D environment.


Keywords

3D survey; virtual reconstruction; terrestrial laser scanner; close-range photogrammetry; archaeology; mosaic

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