Open Conference Systems, Kainua 2017

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Seeing into the past: integrating 3D documentation and non-invasive prospecting methods for the analysis, understanding and reconstruction of the ancient Pompeii. The case of the House of Obellio Firmo (IX, 14)
Federica Boschi, Enrico Giorgi, Michele Silani, Gabriele Bitelli, Alberta Martellone

Last modified: 2017-03-21


In 2015 the Department of History and Cultures of the University of Bologna took part at the Grande Progetto Pompei – Piano della Conoscenza (GPP), with the task to accomplish a modern and complete documentation of the so-called Lotto 3 in Pompeii.

The new record was carried out by means of integrated innovative diagnostic survey techniques (laser scanning, photogrammetry, UAV, geophysical prospections applied for mapping subsoil and standing structures, 3D modelling and BIM applications) in order to provide a total documentary research of the whole analysed sector.

After this experience, in 2016 a new project has been started in agreement with the competent Archaeological Superintendency, focused at the study, preservation and enhancement of the Casa di Obellio Firmo, included in the lotto 3 of the Roman city.

The new research contemplates a in-depth analysis of the building, employing systematically laser scanning and photogrammetry methods in the direction to generate a geometrically and photometrically accurate 3D model of the house. This model is going to constitute the starting point for the further analysis of the walls stratigraphies and for the mapping and monitoring of the structures' degradation, just turned on during the GPP.

The full-scale deepened documentation of the building also includes a detailed geophysical mapping of all the accessible domestic spaces, having recourse to the ground penetrating radar technique. The preliminary results achieved by the non-invasive prospecting survey, integrated with the analysis of the outstanding walls and building techniques, are supporting in a worthwhile way the archaeological understanding and interpretation of the house's history, with both regard to originary genesis and main evolutive phases during the centuries.

In order to allow the management and sharing of the amount of the gathered information, the data are organised within a building information model (BIM).

The triple objective of the project includes: - the reconstruction of a fragment of the ancient urban landscape in Pompeii during the oldest phase, before the 79 AC and with particular attention to the Samnitic period; the outlining of a well-founded strategy of intervention for the restoration and enhancement of the Casa di Obellio Firmo; the re-opening of the building to the sightseeings tours and its restitution to the wider fruition.