University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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3D Documentation for the assessment of underwater archaeological remains
Barbara Davidde, Gabriele Gomez de Ayala, Roberto Petriaggi

Last modified: 2012-11-09


In 2001 the Superior Institute for Conservation and Restoration (Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed Il Restauro) launched Restoring Underwater.

Restoring Underwater is a project aimed to the study and experimentation of instruments, materials, methodologies and techniques for the restoration and conservation in situ of ancient submerged artefacts.

Set up in 2001 it started by restoring the vivaria of the Roman villa of Torre Astura (Nettuno- Rome).

Since 2003 the research has been focused on the submerged archaeological site of Baiae where over the years the restoration of sectors of certain buildings within protected marine area were carried out: the so called Villa con Ingresso a Protiro, the Villa dei Pisoni, the so called Herculanea street and the Building with porticoed courtyard near Portus Iulius. Recently a new type of relief was carried out to document the phases of the restoration of a room paved with opus sectile, situated in the Underwater Park of Baiae not far from the Nymphaeum of Punta Epitaffio (-5 m) using Naumacos L1 scanner laser. Naumacos L1 system has been created specifically for the archeological research and for the stratigraphic survey during the underwater excavation. The L1 system generates a cloud of dots to create a photographic textured model, that is accurate within a millimetre. L1 system can scan big areas and automatically merge them into a mosaic, getting to an improved submillimetric level of precision, which means that it's possible to obtain an archeological survey of smaller details.

The tridimensional laser scanning survey plays a prominent role in the planning and finished stage of the restoration in order to show the restored piece in a museum.

This method of 3D documentation shows better the state of conservation of the monuments, and increase the value of scientific dissemination.


3D documentation; underwater archaeoligal remains; underwater restorationrestoration