Collaboration with the Department of Antiquities
Team: Marilyn Lundberg (USC), Ken Zuckerman (USC), Ropertos Georgiou (CyI/ICACH), Nikolas Bakirtzis (CyI/ICACH)
The project’s goal was two-fold: first, to apply RTI imaging technology in the photography of a range of wall paintings, and second, to use successful results in the thorough historical study of the complicated medieval monument.
Virtual Environments of Contested Urban Space:
Mapping the Spatial Experience of Heritage in Divided Historic Cities
Historical inquiries and monuments of cultural heritage from the historic city of Nicosia will be explored via digital reconstructions and navigations of virtual territories. This method will help users to understand the remaining traces of each monument’s building phases in their urban context, a process of unfolding the palimpsest of the city’s history.
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theme: Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) for Byzantine and Medieval Art
Nikolas Bakirtzis, Ropertos Georgiou
The Cyprus Institute
Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center
This seminar presentation will focus on the development of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) to address problems and challenges in the documentation and study of Byzantine and Medieval Art in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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2014 marks the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death in Toledo, Spain. To commemorate the event the Historic Museum of Crete and the Benaki Museum in Athens are presenting an important exhibition called “Domenikos Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome” to be held from 21 June to 25 October 2014 at the museum in Heraklion and then at the Benaki Museum in Athens until the end of the year.
The FP7 infrastructure project Linking Scientific Computing in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean (LinkSCEEM), coordinated by The Cyprus Institute, and STARC jointly organized a workshop on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and Cultural Heritage research. The workshop was held at the premises of The Cyprus Institute in Nicosia on 3-5 June 2014.
RTI documentation of the coin collection of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation.
A collaborative on-going project concerns the gradual RTI documentation of all coins in the BOCCF collection. Results will facilitate the numismatic study of the most complete collection of Cypriot coinage as well as support issues of conservation. Furthermore, RTI images will be utilized in the museological context of the BOCCF and will be centrally featured in CyI’s Cyprus Culture Digital Library in a comprehensive exhibition and database of Cypriot Coinage.
The CyI Imaging Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (ICACH) applied Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) photography on three celebrated paintings from the early career of Cretan artist Domenikos Theotokopoulos (1541-1614), known as El Greco during his illustrious career in Spain.
Results have offered new, detailed evidence and valuable observations on El Greco’s work, technique and style during a transformative period for the Cretan artist. This project opportunity has underlined CyI’s expert contribution in the cross-disciplinary analysis of artistic heritage; as a result, ICACH will document other works by the artist in Athens and Crete and to participate in exhibitions and symposia organized in 2014, designated as El Greco Year.
A special presentation (March 28) was also organized at the 2nd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities/ Greek Ministry of Culture with the participation of archaeologists and a representative of the Syros Bishopric, owner of El Greco’s Dormition of the Virgin ( dated 1565-66).
Following the RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) documentation of three paintings by the famous Cretan artist Domenikos Theotocopoulos known as El Greco in Nicosia (January 2013) STARC’s Nikolas Bakirtzis and Ropertos Georgiou were invited to present the results in Athens.
The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Cyprus and the Ecclesiastical Board of Panagia Phaneromeni Church, Nicosia, co-organize on Saturday 1 December 2012 a conference entitled “The Church of Our Lady Phaneromeni in the recent history of Cyprus”. The conference will take place in the premises of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, in Phaneromeni, the old city of Nicosia.
Cultural heritage research and practice is increasingly aided by, and dependent on, digital media.
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a) Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM) is a type of RTI imaging application, which was developed by Hewlett-Packard Imaging Labs and enhanced by the West Semitic Project at USC, addresses the difficulties in the photography of objects whose surfaces feature inscriptions or relief designs. They can be found on an array of archaeological objects and works of art such as inscriptions in stone or clay, plaques, coins, paintings, mosaics, relief sculpture, jewelry and other minor objects. It consists of a dome with a hole at the apex, and thirty-six Halogen lights embedded at randomly fixed intervals around the dome. An artifact is placed at the base of the dome, while a camera is positioned looking downward focusing, through the hole at the top, on the aforementioned object.
Cultural heritage research and practice is increasingly aided by, and dependent on, digital media. In the last decade, digital media technologies have begun to improve the documentation, management, understanding and communication of cultural heritage. The Cyprus Institute is spearheading, through its two centres CaSToRC and STARC, developments in digital imaging applications for national and regional research in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. These efforts invest on the rich cultural landscape of the Eastern Mediterranean and the research initiatives of the European Union that have recognized the need for the development of digital libraries that will function as a user-friendly access points for cultural heritage.
The first pilot project for the new CyI Imaging Center followed the installation of the three camera systems at the Cyprus Institute in February, 2012. The installation was overseen by Marilyn Lundberg and Ken Zuckerman of the West Semitic Research Project (WSRP) at USC. WSRP was responsible for the construction of the PTM dome and the 360-degree camera system.
Large format photography calls for a particularly high level of technical and creative skills. It requires are in depth expert knowledge in order to exploit the possibilities to the full extent.
project funded by EU – LinkSceem-2 – The Cyprus Institute
Team: Marilyn Lundberg (USC), Ken Zuckerman (USC), Ropertos Georgiou (CyI), Nikolas Bakirtzis (CyI).
The first pilot projects for the imaging center were organized with two major cultural institutions in Nicosia: The BOCCF and the Leventis Municipal Museum. Team members tested all available imaging systems on a wide range of materials and objects from the collections of our collaborators that included coins, medieval ceramics, jewelry, minor arts, icons, paintings, wood carving etc. These efforts provided great opportunities for the testing and optimization of imaging systems. At the same time, they revealed the potential of RTI technology to museum curators and archaeologists thus preparing the ground for more thematically focused research initiatives.
STARC is committed to cross-disciplinary approaches in the study and protection of artistic and architectural heritage in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. Center researchers are engaging an array of scientific and technological tools and applications that can offer new knowledge to major research questions in the history and archaeology of Cyprus and the broader region.
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