APP 3D: sculpture cycle of the Torreparedones forum (Baena, Córdoba)

Antonia Merino, Carlos Márquez, Ramón González-Merino


The archaeological site of Torreparedones (Baena) is one of the most outstanding Roman sites in the Province of Cordoba, due to not only the structural remains excavated in recent decades, but also the relevance through the relevance of other recovered materials. In recent years, among the recordings made during excavations and in the area of the north portico of  the forum and the temple, an important sculptural group from the high imperial time was documented. The sculptural cycle consists of two dynastic groups, which are currently part of the museum exhibition of Baena. The first, found in the area of the gate, consists of a toga, a female figure, a military sculpture and a fragment ideal statue (of the type hüftmantel). The second group, from the temple or near the same area, consists of two male and female seated statues representing: Divus Augustus, Divus Claudius and Diva Augusta (Livia). The latter offers a representation of idealized types, as characters portraits were produced post-mortem once the senate decreed their deification time. Because of the importance of this second group, a three-dimensional (3D) model of each of the pieces has been created. The main objective of this research, with some results presented in this article, is further development of a mobile application that allows disseminating results and promotes the use of virtual reality in the field of heritage. In order to carry out the development of the app the following lines of action have been followed:  1) Recording by the sculptural 3D scanning cycle; and 2) the development of a 3D digital catalogue for the dissemination and study within the framework of scientific research.

Data collection of  the surface was performed by using a 3D laser scanner,  a tool that allows obtaining sub-millimetre resolution and accuracy. After obtaining the results, we processed and checked the quality of the acquired points, best-fit and registration of successive surface recordings, and filtering and cleaning of the point clouds. To disseminate the findings of this research we chose to carry out analyses with a free application called "Sculptural Cycle Torreparedones" available for the Android operating system. With this app, the user can access all the information available, with periodic updates as the progress of other ongoing investigations. This application allows and intuitive and easy way of navigation, see the 3D models of the sculptures, as well as access a virtual tour of Rome in 360° room of the museum of Baena.

Also, the user can access different multimedia content related to the site. As representative logo for the app, the icon of the half-head portrait of Divus Augustus was selected along with the title “3D Sculptural Cycle Torreparedones” as it is one of the largest and best known general level sculpture images. Since the app has been available since October 2017, a survey for assessing the app was conducted in order to know its impact and anticipate future necessary changes. In the course of this system, we have known the user skills in handling the application and the great interest of the youngest people in 3D.Theresults of this survey confirm that this work is an example of how this communication channel can be of service to the valorization and intelligibility of archaeological heritage. It not only allows knowing the  materials recovered  during  the excavations of Torreparedones but also facilitates the visitor to establish a direct connection between the museum and the archaeological site. The application 3D Sculptural Cycle Torreparedones joins other works developed for 3D models digitized as a virtual catalogue, as is the Epigraphia3D app and other applications made with visits 360° as the case of the mobile application Guadiat VR -Belmez (Spain).


sculpture; Roman period; laser scanning; mobile app; 3D catalogue; 360°visit

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