University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Deconstructing the present
Suzanne-Marie Psaila

Last modified: 2011-12-22


It is a common practice for people visiting an archaeological site to imagine what that place could have looked like during the period when it flourished. 3D modelling is an overwhelming, infinitely powerful dream tool since we can modify, rebuild, animate and experiment with all our thoughts freely without ever causing any damage to the site itself. This, however, was not the case in the past. When the Megalithic Temples of Malta were excavated they looked very different to what they look like today. Wanting to preserve has played a strong role and so has wanting to reconstruct. In the 1950’s, a part of the Hagar Qim Temples’ façade was rebuilt, shaping it to the façade we have today. Old paintings document the state in which this façade was originally seen when uncovered after being excavated in 1839. This research makes use of old documentation (photos, paintings, drawings, engravings and lithographs) as data from which to extract geometrical features which determine the monoliths and other large stones, from the façade under investigation, that need to be excluded from the virtual 3D model in order to visualise the Hagar Qim façade as it was discovered, before the physical reconstruction of the fallen slabs and monoliths took place.

(I, the Recycler, would like to be considered for the CAA Recycle Award. The originators are Heritage Malta.)


deconstruct; original context; old documentation; recycled data; photos; paintings; drawings; engravings; modelling; 3D