As previously mentioned (see Recording, August 1-5), the Sagalassos Division is one of the core partners of EPOCH, a new European network. In this network about 100 cultural institutions are joining their efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of the use of Information and Communication Technology for Cultural Heritage. Participants include university departments, research centers, heritage institutions (such as museums or national heritage agencies) and commercial enterprises, together endeavoring to overcome the current, fragmented state of research in this field. EPOCH will promote interdisciplinary integration by initiating and supporting a wide range of activities to the benefit of network members and the wider community. The network is designed to serve as a center of gravity for its members and other research groups in this area, for formulating the research agenda for future development of the technologies with cultural heritage applications.
During the last weeks of the 2004 campaign, Tijl Vereenooghe (K.U. Leuven) concentrated his activities on the test soundings at the Hadrian and Antoninus Pius sanctuary, joining the excavation team of Peter Talloen. The first trench was chosen in order to collect three-dimensional data to be used in a new tool for stratigraphic visualisation and analysis. The technique (called "shape-from-stills") he has used at Sagalassos since last year is an extremely user friendly way of recording 3D shapes and textures, as it uses as its sole input digital pictures or stills from video sequences. This means the technique is very suitable for archaeological excavations, as there is no need for specialized equipment. Moreover, the recordings can be carried out by the archaeologists themselves while excavating and without stopping the excavation activities for long periods.
Every time a new layer or wall structure was found in the trench, it was recorded. After the campaign we will be able to stitch all separate 3D reconstructions together, as every time several theodolite coordinates were measured. We used small, red boxes to indicate the spots were theodolite points were measured. As they will also be visible in the 3D reconstructions, coordinates can be accurately assigned. In this way, the layers and structures will have correct relative positions in the final model. Eventually, this model will serve as input for a new tool for stratigraphic visualisation, which is developed in cooperation with the University of Kent and Brunel University (both UK).
This last week was also extremely fruitful for another activity in the scope of the EPOCH network: a showcase we are preparing to present the Nymphaeum on the Upper Agora in "augmented reality." As the restoration team finished its activities for this year, the scaffolding surrounding the building was removed. Hence, ideal circumstances were created for recording the Nymphaeum from several viewpoints. During the next months these recordings will be processed at the Fraunhofer Institute at Darmstadt (Germany) and the ETH Zürich (Switzerland). The results will be presented at the VAST conference in December 2004.