University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Pompei revived Scanning Mission- insula V 1
Nicolo' Dell'Unto, Matteo Dellepiane, Marco Callieri, Anne-Marie Leander, Stefan Lindgren, Carolina Larsson

Last modified: 2012-01-02


The Swedish Pompeii Project started in 2000 as a fieldwork initiated from the Swedish Institute in Rome. The aim was to record and analyse a full Pompeian city-block, Insula V 1. Created to encompass all major disciplines promoted by the Institute, the project targets a wider contextualisation of the Pompeian evidence. Pompeii revived is the title used to shelter studies in legacy, whereas the City Gate Seminar has the ambition to discuss the validity of historical analogies as guidance for interpretation of evidence concerning everyday life in the past in a broad sense.

The proposed paper presents the initial results of one of the main actions in the context of this project. The aim is to investigate, document and visualize Pompeian architecture by means of different types of 3D-models (both in “as is- and “as was”-models).

The use of acquisition techniques like 3D Scanning or Dense stereo reconstruction will increase the knowledge of the relations between the  technological infrastructures of the insula i.e. water pipes system, illumination etc.   and the distribution of the  public and private spaces.  Through the use of Virtual Reality Techniques will be possible to visit  the Pompeian houses of Casa del Torello and Casa di Cecilio Giocondo understanding  the relation between the  actual archaeological context and their original outfit.

The connection- in the same virtual environment -of past and present will guide the users through a time travel experience. The application will be designed  as a virtual infrastructure to drag users from past to present, increasing -through the use of a 3D visual language- the knowledge of the past.

In October 2011, the two Pompeian houses were acquired using 3D scanning, and the data were processed to obtain an accurate and complete model.

The collected data will be  used also to design and test a new web-based access model where the entire dataset will be available for browsing, measurement and data extraction. By combining standard navigation paradigm based on plans and prospects with the natural room-based environment, it could be possible for the users to visit, room by room, the entire dataset. The features of HTML5, like WebGL, will be used to deliver realtime 3D content and interaction. The system will allow  taking measurements, snapshot and ask for more complex documentation like cut-through sections or maps views which will be later on computed offline by the server on the whole dataset and delivered to the users.

This simple tool enhances the possibilities for the analysis of the documentation of the archaeological remains, proposing a starting point for additional actions like annotation, complex interaction, collaborative work.


Laser Scanning; Virtual Reality; Computer Vision; WebGL; Digital Archaeology; Digital Documentation