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An ancient statue, re-created

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Author Topic: An ancient statue, re-created  (Read 408 times)
Victoria Liss
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« on: December 08, 2012, 02:09:05 pm »

Museum assistant director Joseph Greene said the project is partly driven by the desire to re-create the damaged lion and partly by a commitment to use the latest technology to probe the thousands of artifacts in the museum’s collection in search of new data from them.

“It’s important to devote our time and attention to objects we have in our collection and to apply the latest techniques, techniques not dreamed of when [the artifacts] were dug up,” Greene said. “There’s a continual curiosity: What more can we learn? What hasn’t been tried so far? Can we wring new data from objects that have been in our basement for 80 years?”

The museum holds just two pieces of the fragmentary lion, its front paws and a larger chunk of rump and back legs. Technicians from an outside contractor, Learning Sites Inc., visited the museum Friday to take digital photographs of the fragments to augment more than 120 images taken of the intact statue.

According to Donald Sanders, Learning Sites president, the 3-D models are made using the digital photos and sophisticated computer software that knits the images together. The images can be taken with ordinary cameras and even cellphone cameras, but they have to overlap, so that the software can sort and match the images to create the model. The more overlap there is, he said, the more data points the software has, and the more detailed the model can be. By taking more than 120 images of a relatively small statue like the lion, the resolution can be less than a millimeter.
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