An extraordinary example of a mixed reality museum installation.
Donald H. Sanders, PhD, President, Learning Sites, Inc.
In 2012, a team of historians, scientists, and archaeologists began to study the Spoils Panel of the Arch of Titus, Rome using ultraviolet visual absorption spectrometry (a technique that uses white light and a spectrometer to measure the wavelengths of the reflected light from a surface) to investigate crevices in the relief. The measurements taken from the menorah corresponded to yellow ochre, confirming for the first time that the color of the menorah on the relief was meant to evoke the gold of the original taken from Jerusalem. Using ancient literary sources, evidence from Roman wall paintings, traces of color detected on other Roman sculptures, archaeological evidence, and scholarly intuition, colors could be defined for most of the other features of the panel, as well.
This was just the beginning. For an exhibition on the arch at the Yeshiva University Museum (NYC), we were called upon to create a unique display as the centerpiece of the exhibit. Neathawk Designs (Williamstown MA, USA) milled an exact full-scale replica of the spoils panel using their CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine. Our modelers, under the direction of Steven Fine (Yeshiva University, NYC) and Peter Schertz (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, VA, USA) digitally restored all the missing objects, people, and clothing of the relief. That digital replica was then colorized and projected onto the replica of the current relief in the museum gallery providing visitors to the museum with a heretofore unimagined glimpse into the past and an image of the relief unseen for 2000 years.
Projects Website: http://www.learningsites.com/Rome/Titus_home.php