Multi-Disciplinary Egyptology: 3D scanning Akhenaton

Multi-Disciplinary Egyptology: 3D scanning Akhenaton
In this example of scanning an artefact currently held in Museum August Kestner in Hanover (Germany), a variety of different techniques were used to create a non-platform specific 3D model of a composite head of a statue of Late Dynasty 18 King Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV).
A lower-resolution Artec scanner was used to reproduce the bust in real dimensions, this model was then used to scale other scans. Photogrammetry captured high-resolution images of the bust, which were stitched together by Formwerk3D.
RTI, or Reflectance Transformation Imaging, was used to capture the details of the surface. This method uses a stationary camera in front of the object and passing a bright light pass over the object, to illuminating every part of the bust which is then captured by the single camera.
Composite statues
Composite statues are made from different parts, sometimes in different materials such as timber, metal or faience, then assembled. In this example you can clearly see that the so called 'Blue' crown (also known as the war crown or Khepresh) is a separate piece which was originally attached to the head of the king using a mortise and tenon joint. You can also clearly see the slot used to attach a cobra or ureaus to the front of the crown (now missing).
In the finished scan you can still see faint traces of paint on the ancient surface.
As more museums scan their collections, the ability for scholars world-wide to study them in greater detail increases, and provides opportunities which would not otherwise exist, such as allowing us to see views of the object not normally widely published. (If you want to spot the Egyptologist or archaeologist in your favourite museum, they are probably the one peering at the item from the side or back of the cabinet!) In the model shown here, the opportunity exists to view the object in its component pieces to understand construction methods like the joint detail and the materials used.


Post a Comment

To maintain the quality of discussion, please keep comments and questions on topic.