BATI3D - 3D modelling as a heuristic tool for the reconstruction of ancient structures: ethno-archaeological approach and technical experimentation (2012)

Scientific coordinator: Corinne Castel (ARCHÉORIENT) –
Disciplines: Archaeology – Information technology – Ethnology



The BATI3D project aims to combine three complementary approaches to contribute to the reconstruction of buildings dating back to the pivotal era of the 4th and 3rd millennia BCE (Chalcolithic/Ancient Bronze ages) in which the first cities emerged in the Near East, while simultaneously developing new experimental ground in the area of generating virtual worlds. It presents the originality of relying on 3D as a heuristic tool and creates a humanities/social science and STEM synergy around three areas:

- exploiting largely unmined ethnographic documentation (maps, topographic measurements, photographs, questionnaires from interviews with residents) with the objective of proposing a study of ways of living in and occupying space at various levels (from residence to agglomeration), using 3D as an original means of projection to open up new perspectives for better perceiving spatial practice;

- architectural and archaeological analysis of houses of the 4th and 3rd millennia BCE for which only partial data gathered in digs exists (floor plans, limited data on the original height of the buildings); the objective is to achieve reconstructions with solid scientific grounding using 3D images, and to envision pre-classical habitat and agglomerations as spaces in which people lived and invested themselves, and not just as mere containers;

- technical experimentation based on site plans to generate volumetric reconstructions, with the development of procedural generation protocols. The goal is to develop graphic computing techniques for the creation and generation of three-dimensional models of archaeological and historical sites, with a focus on accuracy with regard to field measurements and historical testimony.

The global approach combines the three disciplines of ethnography, archaeology and graphic computing.