The entire archaeological site – 360° panoramic images Suburban Baths – 3D laser scanning
From the moment that the Herculaneum Conservation Project was launched in 2001, importance was given to documenting and providing access to Herculaneum’s archaeological heritage. One immediate way of doing this was through the creation of a virtual tour: a photographic campaign was carried out across the site using sophisticated instruments to produce high resolution 360° panoramic images (QuickTime VR) of the various spaces. The images, taken by Brian Donovan of the University of Auckland, also allowed the initial results of the emergency conservation campaign to be recorded.
Today the public are offered an alternative view of the archaeological site thanks to this fascinating virtual tour and can see areas that are closed to visitors due to health and safety risks or work in progress. To take the tour, click here.
In 2006, as part of a collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a trial project was carried out for the creation of 3D virtual models of archaeological structures using laser scanning technology. The instrument used (DeltaSphere 3rdTech) was tested in the Suburban Baths, a building chosen for its archaeological importance and its serious conservation conditions.
The three-dimensional model that resulted from the detailed scanning of all the individual spaces in the bath building showed the potential of this approach to become an important tool for conservation as it allows periodic monitoring of certain types of decay of both the building and its decorations.
To see an example 3D model of the Suburban Baths,