Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Last week together with Matteo Dellepiane and Marco Callieri  from the ISTI, we (me, Stefan Lindgren and Carolina Larsson) started the digital acquisition of two houses in Pompeii: Casa del Torello and Casa di Cecilio Giocondo. These two amazing monuments have been (and are) studied by "The Swedish Pompeii Project",  with the goal of  [..]"filling the void of documentation lingering with this insula since its excavation"[..]. 
In this context we decided to use the laser scanner together with computer vision techniques in order to create a very detail 3D model of the entire studied area. The model will be generate in the next months and we hope it will increase the research and the communication of the entire Insula.
Faro scanner, in the republican garden
of Cecilio Giocondo's house
For the field work we employed two FARO scanner and a Canon Camera EOS550 with a wide angle lens. Despite the complexity of the structures and the extension of the area, in two days we were able to complete the planned field work realizing more than 70 scans.  The acquisition was incredibly fast and the portability of the new scanner allowed reaching the more tedious areas of the houses.
This instrument is really a new step in the domain of the laser, no cables, no laptop (it works in touch screen) a very long battery,  and the combination with computer vision allows an incredible flexibility in fields campaign. It was  a very successful acquisition and during the next weeks we will study a useful  pipeline to manage and post process such huge quantity of data with a sustainable methodology.  The documentation generated during the field work was very accurate and obviously different from the  projections (CAD or traditional drawings) realized during the excavation. The main question now  is: Does the use of such different data  will influence or change the way of building an  archaeological interpretation in the future?  This is not easy to foresee, because the development and the diffusion of this new methods depend by factors that do not stricktly belong to the archaeology as discipline.
What I think we can  hypothize is that using tools which allow describing an archaeological environments with such details, could help archaeologists to build a shared interpretation using an very precise platform, based on the "virtual" archaeoloogical material that define the investigated context.

Map of the Insula, in the picture the scanned area 
So far the feedback of my collegues was always very positive, but no enough experimentation and literature has been realized.  Now that the tools are ready and easy to use,  a work of investigation about the definition of new structured documentation methods in archaeology is required.

Monday, September 19, 2011


In terms of devices,  it is not easy to understand what will be the next standard in archaeology.
So far the focus of this research field was mostly based on the data capturing and post processing, but very few affords were made to explore the possibility to use these new kinds of data in different scenarios (not just in Lab).

 Today new technology  allows to generate very precise 3D models of any archaeological context, perfect  replicas of how the layer looked like the exact moment before its destruction. If stored properly, these information, can provide a sort of  time travel application to keep track of all the actions (physical and mental) that defined the research process during the entire investigation time frame.
 The use of these new devices (easy to carry everywhere, quite robust and with no keyboard)  allows a direct access to our ongoing work directly into the excavation, bringing more and more the labs activities into the archaeological context.  This represents an important step in terms of "information & cognition", because allows to hypothesize scenarios where  field activities and  post processing work are merge together in the same context.
 Recently the National Research Council of Italy, ISTI (Institute of information Science of Pisa) http://www.isti.cnr.it/ ,  realized a prototype to visualize complex 3D models through IPad, this application is called MeshPad, and it is basically an IPad version of MeshLab. These new tools for Pads (IPad, Galaxy), also if incomplete and not designed primarily for archaeological research (as usual...),  represent an incredible opportunity for new experiments based on data management, and opens to new interesting research questions about how our perception of the data affect (increase or decrease)  our capacity to interpret.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

After Catal

During the summer I have bee in Catal Huyuk excavating for a couple of weeks and doing some new test, in this occasion I combined computer vision techniques (photoscan) and Total Station. The experiment was very successful because for the first time in my "field experience" I had the chance to generate a scaled and High Resolute 3D model of the excavation every day !!! every evening I had the full documentation ready in HQ and (more important) a 3D model to brainstorm the situation etc. It was very exiting, but more important this experiment open to new questions about archaeological methods and excavation strategy... I think this technique is going to have an important role in the future excavations, but the only technique is absolutely not enough, now we need to figure it out how to use this new kind of data in a large scale and more important what are the possibilities for a better comprehension of the stratigrapy. Before Catal I did some experiment in Uppakra, together with Matteo Dellepiane (ISTI) and Marco Callieri (ISTI) we will present these preliminary results to the International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, VAST 2011, www.vast-conference.eu/ soon the article will be available on my academia.edu profile : Documentation and Interpretation of an Archeological Excavation: an experience with Dense Stereo Reconstruction tools

Monday, May 9, 2011

let's the esperiment begin ...

During this week we are starting a new cycle of experiments in Uppåkra to test the efficiency of the image based modelling technique (SFM+DSM) on a long range term excavation. The results from the last year were very exiting but there are still few things to check...

The collaboration with the ISTI (creators of MeshLab) is going on great! They are part of the experiment and one of the goals of this new test section will be to feed the ISTI people with new archaeological inputs for MeshLab ;-)

The connection between MeshLab and Image-based-modelling technique is very good and represent an interesting path to explore in archaeology.

Thanks to MrP you will find online video tutorials about MeshLab..