Photorealistic virtual exploration of an archaeological site

Andrea F. Abate, Fabio Narducci, Stefano Ricciardi


This paper describes a case study concerning the virtual reconstruction and navigation of an archaeological site located in Moregine, near Pompeii as it appeared to archaeologists after the completion of the excavation and including the reconstruction of face and body appearance of a woman that found death there, during the eruption of 79 BC. The main challenges faced in this study concern the visual engine required to delivering possibly unlimited visual quality and the methodology for achieving an ethnically faithful face reconstruction from skull bones. The first objective is tackled by adopting a pre-rendering based visualization engine, through which environment navigation is achieved following pre-built paths and performing available actions through a context sensitive motion tracking based interface. Secondly, the plausible appearance of the woman's face is reconstructed exploiting an approach based on craniometrical analysis together with a pictorial physiognomic database and content-based image retrieval technology, to the aim of providing more faithful results compared to other methods in literature based solely on statistical data.

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