The integration of 3D technology for the conservation and restoration of ruined archaeological artifacts

  • Sana Simou Civil Engineering and Environment Laboratory, Civil Engineering, Water, Environment and Geosciences Centre, Mohammadia School of Engineering, Mohammed V University
  • Khadija Baba Civil Engineering and Environment Laboratory, High School of Technology, Sale, Mohammed V University
  • Abderrahman Nounah Civil Engineering and Environment Laboratory, High School of Technology, Sale, Mohammed V University
Keywords: cultural heritage, photogrammetry, survey, architectural archiving, 3D reconstruction, museology


The restoration and conservation of monuments and archaeological sites is a delicate operation. It requires fidelity, delicacy, precision and archaeological authenticity. The aim is to reveal, recreate as accurately as possible the characteristics of an archaeological site or part of it. Research during the last two decades has proved that 3D modeling, or the digital documentation and visualization of archaeological objects in 3D, is valuable for archaeological research. As well, as for conservation and presentation to a wide audience, as it allows the creation of realistic and accurate digital copies of archaeological objects. In the past, 3D modeling technologies were prohibitively expensive and too technologically specialized to be integrated into most historical heritage projects. However, advancements in computing and digital photography over the past decade have resulted in several low-cost, user-friendly options for 3D modeling, using photogrammetry. The latter has been used successfully for documentation of historic cultural. In recent years, this technology has become increasingly more popular for archiving, which provide the 3D model and digital ortho-image using high accuracy dense 3D points. The study has opted for the technique of terrestrial and aerial photogrammetry by 3D surveys of architectural elements, to develop an archetype of the deteriorated Islamic Marinid site (a dynasty between the 13th and 15th centuries), and the Roman site (25 BC), located at the Chellah archaeological site in Rabat and Salé cities. However, the recognition of the importance of these Islamic sites, in terms of the evolution of Moroccan Islamic art, requires the combination of large-scale scanning capability of unmanned terrestrial, aerial photogrammetry and the photorealistic rendering of 3D, as well as exhaustive research on the history of this cultural site. The data acquired build an architectural database to archive and retrieve the entire existing architecture of monuments. This study has been completed by photogrammetrists, architects, and restorers.


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Simou , S., Baba , K., & Nounah , A. (2022). The integration of 3D technology for the conservation and restoration of ruined archaeological artifacts . History of Science and Technology, 12(1), 150-168.