From 3D to 4D modelling in archaeology: an application in Roman Pompeii
Speaker: Hélène Dessales (ENS – PSL)
Hélène Dessales is lecturer in Roman archaeology at the Ecole normale supérieure, in the Département des Sciences de l’Antiquité, as a member of the AOROC research unit. She was fellow of the Ecole française de Rome and junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. Her research focuses on building techniques in the Roman world. She is also a specialist in the history of archaeology, studying graphical archives of the 19th century, through the corpus of the “Grand Tour” travellers in Italy. She has led several field missions, in France, Spain and Italy. In Pompeii in particular, she has recently coordinated various research projects (PSL structuring program – Pompeii 3D; ANR RECAP – Rebuilding after an earthquake: ancient experiences and innovations in Pompeii) and published a volume on a significant monument (The Villa of Diomedes. The making of a Roman villa in Pompeii, Paris, 2020).
3D modelling in archaeology and architectural studies are both a research tool and an important medium for dissemination to the public. During the last decade, the role of computer vision and photogrammetry have developed strongly and changed the practices of archaeological surveys and drawings. The purpose of this talk is to explore the challenges of 4D visualization, through a case study in Pompeii. Indeed, the three spatial dimensions of the virtual space integrate time as a fourth dimension. The distinctive feature of Pompeii is to allow to trace the various building stages back to Roman times, from the first phases of the urban settlement to the eruption of Vesuvius, but also to integrate the evolution and the restoration of the archaeological site, since its discovery at the end of the eighteenth century until today. In this way, the 4D model functions as a veritable time machine and is implemented as a scientific research tool to interpret the archaeological data.