“Digital archaeology represents the natural evolution of classical archaeology, permitting researchers to look at ancient objects in a whole new way, to uncover hidden inscriptions, invisible paint lines, the faintest palimpsests. . . and to share these discoveries with the world.”
The Million Image Database Project – “In collaboration with UNESCO World Heritage and the epigraphical database project at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and engineering specialists at Oxford University, we hope to capture one million 3D images of at-risk objects by the end of 2016. To that end, we have created a heavily modified version of an inexpensive consumer 3D camera that will permit inexperienced users to capture archival-quality scans. The camera has the facility to upload these images automatically to database servers where they can be used for study or, if required, 3D replication. It is our intention to deploy up to five-thousand of these low-cost 3D cameras in conflict zones throughout the world by the end of 2015. Each camera contains an automated tutorial package that will help field users – local museum affiliates, imbedded military, NGO employees and volunteers – both to identify appropriate subject matters and to capture useable images. This project is the first of its kind in both purpose and scale. However, it is our hope that it will become a model for future similar endeavors. All of the associated technology and software will be open-source to facilitate that goal.” This project is especially timely in light of the seemingly unstoppable destruction of antiquities, including in Palmyra, Syria.