University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

Font Size: 
Maja Jerala

Last modified: 2011-12-21


Despite the fact that in the last few decades, digital tools are becoming more and more frequently used for the representation of cultural heritage, their use still concentrates on 3D reconstructions and representations of monuments. Recently, however, projects of heritage virtualization, sometimes already focus on an process or a product, where archaeology can offer the best methods and principles for the interpretation of heritage. Using the example of the so-called Temple of Hercules at Miklavški hrib in Celje, Slovenia, the use of 3D models as interpretative tools is represented here. When an interactive computer simulation is used as a methodological tool, the primary research tool should be digital reconstructions. Virtual environment enables a breakdown of an element, event or action in the past into primary elements, which can be consequently used to create a reconstruction. At the same time, it enables a gradual visualization of separate phases. Virtual reality techniques are thus not only used for representations, but are, above all, interpretative tools, used for the representation of a visual model, while at the same time they can be used to test different theories and possibilities of interpretations. The Celje temple is an example of a specific architectural form, which is so far unique in the territory of Slovenia. At the same time it is a rare example of heritage preserved in situ. The temple was excavated and partly conserved and represented in the 1950s. Based on our present knowledge, the representation of the temple was incorrect. For this reason, it is important to study the site in order to critically evaluate the original reconstruction and to make a proposal for a new one. What has been preserved on the site are the conserved walls of the cella and the partly buried walls of the porticus, which have not been conserved. In addition, 8 toichobates, 14 pillar bases, 3 fragments of either capitals or pillar bases, 1 fragment of an altar, 1 fragment of a marble fence, some fragments of tuff lintels, 2 fragments of an architrave built into the nearby church, have been preserved. In order to create a 3D reconstruction of the temple, the first step is to draw the preserved architectural elements in 3D environment. The next step is to include photographs into the 3D drawing by the use of single-image-based modelling. After that, the drawings are corrected by the use of homography, and architectural elements are included into the 3D plan of the site. Digital tools in case of Hercules' temple are used for an accurate documentation of architectural elements in order to analyse traces of construction and interpretation of architectural block processing. Furthermore they are offering the interpretation of integration of preserved elements within the rest of architecture. 3D enviroment offers the possibilities for reviewing the location of preserved elements within architecture. With creating a 3D model based on photos at the same time enables a realistic apperance of reconstruction. The temple of Hercules at Celje therefore represents an example for the use of new approaches of documentation, analysis, interpretation and reconstruction of cultural heritage architecture. This contribution represents the basis for the complete reconstruction of the temple, which is the final goal of my doctoral thesis, titled A Pseudoperipteral temple with portico: The Temple of Hercules at Celje.


Virtual reality; 3D reconstructions