Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Bring Painted Warrior 2,000 Years Old To Virtual Life

Date:
January 14, 2009
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
A 2000-year-old painted statue is being restored to her original glory by scientists with a conservation project.

Roman head being laser scanned.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Warwick

A 2000-year-old painted statue is being restored to her original glory by scientists from WMG at the University of Warwick, the University of Southampton, and the Herculaneum Conservation Project.

The Roman statue was discovered by the Herculaneum Conservation Project in the ancient ruins of Herculaneum, a town preserved in the same eruption that buried nearby Pompeii in AD 79. It is thought to represent a wounded Amazon warrior, complete with painted hair and eyes preserved by the ash that buried the town. Archaeologists at the University of Southampton and the Herculaneum Conservation Project contacted WMG after hearing about the Group’s expertise in three key technologies: high resolution laser scanning, rapid prototyping and ultra-realistic computer graphics.

Researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick, Southampton and Herculaneum are now scanning, modelling and digitally recreating the Amazon statue.

Dr Mark Williams, a leader in laser measurement at WMG, took his team and equipment to the site. He said: “The statue is an incredible find. Although its age alone makes it valuable, it is unique because it has retained the original painted surface, preserved under the volcanic material that buried Herculaneum.”

Dr Williams used state-of-the-art equipment to accurately measure (within 0.05 of a millimetre) every surface of the bust and translated that information into a computer model. Dr Greg Gibbons, also of WMG, then used rapid prototyping to create a physical 3D model of the head revealing the smallest detail.

Further recording was carried out on site by experts in archaeological computing from Southampton, led by Dr Graeme Earl. They used a novel form of photography which provided an extremely detailed record of the texture and colour of the painted surfaces.

Dr Earl said: “Cutting edge techniques are vital to the recording of cultural heritage material, since so much remains unstudied or too fragile to analyse. Our work at Southampton attempts to bridge the gap between computing and archaeology in bringing the best that colleagues in engineering have to offer to unique artefacts from our past.”

The Southampton team is now digitally re-modelling and re-painting the sculpture. They are using techniques derived from the film industry to recreate the original carved and painted surfaces.

In the final step Professor Alan Chalmers, head of WMG’s visualisation team and an expert in ultra-realistic graphics, will apply techniques to the computer model to exactly reproduce the lighting and environmental conditions under which the painted statue would have originally been created and displayed. This visualisation will provide archaeologists with an otherwise impossible view of how the original statue may have looked in context, and allow them to experiment with alternative hypotheses.

Professor Chalmers said: “Our work will be used both for educational and research purposes to give people new insights into the statue’s design, to provide a record for conservators, and to explore how it may have been appreciated over 2000 years ago.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Scientists Bring Painted Warrior 2,000 Years Old To Virtual Life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112093513.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2009, January 14). Scientists Bring Painted Warrior 2,000 Years Old To Virtual Life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112093513.htm
University of Warwick. "Scientists Bring Painted Warrior 2,000 Years Old To Virtual Life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112093513.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Neanderthals Probably Died Out Earlier Than We Thought

Neanderthals Probably Died Out Earlier Than We Thought

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — A new study is packed with interesting Neanderthal-related findings, including a "definitive answer" to when they went extinct. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mother And Son Find Woolly Mammoth Tusks 22 Years Apart

Mother And Son Find Woolly Mammoth Tusks 22 Years Apart

Newsy (Aug. 15, 2014) — A mother and son in Alaska uncovered woolly mammoth tusks in the same river more than two decades apart. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fossils Reveal Ancient Flying Reptile With 'Butterfly Head'

Fossils Reveal Ancient Flying Reptile With 'Butterfly Head'

Newsy (Aug. 14, 2014) — Newly found fossils reveal a previously unknown species of flying reptile with a really weird head, which some say looks like a butterfly. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins