3mE participating in exhibition of 3D reconstruction of lost Assyrian palace hall

12 July 2017 by Webredactie 3mE

A unique scientific partnership was created for the new winter exhibition ‘Nineveh’ at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands. Various international scientific teams worked on the reconstruction of one of the most beautiful structures in the Near East: the palace of Assyrian King Sennacherib.

Specialists from the Cognitive Robotics group at the Delft University of Technology have been using digital photos and digital image processing to create 3D models of the royal reliefs, which has subsequently made it possible to relive the reliefs as something tangible with the aid of 3D printing. The photos were taken in Nineveh (northern Iraq) by Italian archaeologists in 2003. At the time, the remnants of the palace were still standing, but they were recently purposely obliterated from the face of the earth. The ‘Nineveh’ exhibition can be visited from 19 October 2017 to 25 March 2018.

International scientific partnership
International teams of specialists worked on the reconstruction of King Sennacherib’s palace hall. Most of the data about the situation before the recent loss were made available by l'Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro (IsCR) in Rome and the University of Turin. They documented all of the walls and reliefs in 2002, when the pair of palace rooms were still intact. Professor Pieter Jonker, Dr. Boris Lenseigne en student Naphur van Apeldoorn, researchers of the Cognitive Robotics group at the TU Delft, used these digital photos to create accurate 3D models of the reliefs, using a previously patented method incorporated in their start-up QdepQ Systems and visual processing algorithms that they developed themselves. Because the photos were always taken from the front, the Delft scientists used variations in shade and light to create the most realistic models possible of the reliefs. They verified their method by making a 3D scan of a relief that had not been destroyed and reconstructing it from photos. The reconstructions have been visualised in two ways in this exhibition. The Tokyo University of Art created 1-on-1 prints of several relief fragments and coloured them in by hand. They thus produced essentially exact copies of the situation prior to destruction. For the reconstruction of the other six major reliefs, all available data was correlated, from British excavation drawings from the 19th century to Italian photos taken in 2002. These data have been used to generate accurate digital models that were subsequently duplicated using 3D printing techniques, among other things. New research was recently conducted on that very theme by the National Museum of Antiquities and the Delft University of Technology, among others.

The following people and institutions worked on the reconstruction of the palace for the ‘Nineveh’ exhibition: the University of Turin, Carlo Lippolis (archaeologist); IsCR in Rome, Angelo Rubino (photographer and copyright owner); Delft University of Technology /  QdepQ Systems, Pieter Jonker, Boris Lenseigne, Naphur van Apeldoorn (3D reconstructive; Leiden University , Dennis Braekmans (colour research); Tokyo University of the Arts, Takashi Fukai, Manako Tanaka, Oishi Yukino (visualisation); Océ-Technologies B.V. (3D print); National Museum of Antiquities, Anna de Wit, Lucas Petit (image reconstruction and project management).

Read more about the exhibition here.




© 2017 TU Delft