Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta.
Special thanks to the head of department Dr Carmel Serracino.
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Lecture: Rebuilding the Lost Past
15 November @ 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM
A virtual reconstruction of destroyed archaeological sites documented in the 18th and 19th Century
Lecture by Marco Mion.
The reconstruction of the past is arguably one of the main objectives of archaeology. In the past few decades, this task has been facilitated by the introduction of 3D technologies which are capable of conveying archaeological data and interpretations through the use of interactive graphics and imaging. Therefore, when describing what an artefact, a monument or a site looked like in the past, 3D technologies are recognized as an intuitive, efficient and interactive visualization tool. This talk will present and discuss the results of a research conducted in 2022 as part of the author’s dissertation for the M.A. in Archaeological Practice (UoM). This study made use of 3D technologies with the intention of establishing whether a virtual reconstruction of destroyed archaeological sites can be achieved using only available legacy data. The documentation collected for this purpose included textual and drawn sources recorded in the 18th and 19th centuries at the following sites:
- an Early Christian hypogeum (Jesuit’s Hill, Marsa – Site A);
- a Roman warehouse complex (Jesuit’s Hill, Marsa – Site B);
- a set of Punic structural remains (Żurrieq – Site C).
The first two sites were completely destroyed by the industrial development that took place in the Marsa harbour over the past two centuries, while the latter is still partially surviving in situ. This research attempted a 3D and VR interpretative reconstruction of these sites and the outcomes were then analysed by assessing their strengths and limitations. The methodology chosen to reconstruct these sites was then assessed through the reconstruction of Site C. In this case, the interpretative 3D model built through the legacy data was compared and analysed against a reality-based 3D model of the same site built by surveying the standing remains surviving in situ using photogrammetry.
Marco Mion is a Maltese-Italian field archaeologist who recently completed a Master degree in Archaeological Practice with a focus on Digital Archaeology at the University of Malta (UoM). He is currently working as a licensed archaeological monitor in several development-led sites across the Maltese Islands.