Technological replicas for the Egyptian necropolis of Saqqara

With a nondestructing methodology developed by Protolab, at the Bologna ENEA Research Centre, Italy, the exact copies of two precious and fragile reliefs from the necropolis of Saqqara,  property of the Archaeological Museum of Bologna, were realized. A gift to the Egyptian government, the marble replicas will be placed inside the tombs from where the originals came from, to complete the monuments’ restoration.

Comments

With a nondestructing methodology developed by Protolab, at the Bologna ENEA Research Centre, Italy, the exact copies of two precious and fragile reliefs from the necropolis of Saqqara,  property of the Archaeological Museum of Bologna, were realized. A gift to the Egyptian government, the marble replicas will be placed inside the tombs from where the originals came from, to complete the monuments’ restoration.

ProduttoreENEA webTV
Autori
  • F. L. Falconieri,
  • M. Maffioletti
Contattiscrivi al produttore
Data18/03/2013
LinguaEnglish
YouTube Vai al video

Descrizione completa

Quite an unusual display was exhibited at the Italian Cultural Institute of Cairo: tourists and locals came to admire the exact copies of two precious artefacts from the Egyptian necropolis of Saqqara. The originals, which were found inside the tombs of Horemheb and the royal butler ...

Leggi

Quite an unusual display was exhibited at the Italian Cultural Institute of Cairo: tourists and locals came to admire the exact copies of two precious artefacts from the Egyptian necropolis of Saqqara. The originals, which were found inside the tombs of Horemheb and the royal butler Ptahemwia, are today part of the Egyptian collection of the Archaeological Museum of Bologna in Italy.


Daniela Picchi, Archaeological Museum of Bologna, Italy
The tomb of Horemheb was first discovered in the second decade of the nineteenth century. Very likely, the person who found it was a woman, we might regard her as the first woman archaeologist, the first female Egyptologist in the world, Amalia Nizzoli ... the artefacts she and her husband collected were then sold to the Bolognese painter  Pelagio Palagi  who, after death, left them to his home town; and that‘s the reason why  this relief is now in Bologna. It testifies to the splitting of a very important tomb,  whose parts and pieces are stored in museums all over the world, in Bologna, Florence, Leiden, Berlin”

The original reliefs  go back to the reign of Tutankhamon, that is more than three thousand years ago, and were made from limestone. They are so fragile as precious and could be seriously damaged, if improperly handled.

Paola Giovetti, managing director of the  Archaeological Museum of Bologna, Italy
As far as we are concerned, it’s perhaps the most important nucleus of our collection, materials that other museums have repeatedly asked for loan but we were never able to lend because of their delicate condition ... thanks to cutting-edge technologies, though, we have finally been able to make the replicas of the reliefs, with the cooperation of some high quality Italian firms, equipped with sophisticated artisan skills and competence...

To make the replicas as faithful as possible it was necessary to acquire accurate information about the reliefs’ outward characteristics and shapes. That was done with a methodology developed by Protolab, the reverse engineering and prototyping laboratory at the ENEA Bologna Research Centre, in Italy. The space coordinates of more than 30 million points on the surfaces of each relief were stored with a high resolution laser scanner. At no time, did the researchers ever tamper with the manufacts, they were repeatedly caressed by the laser beam, instead, and then, at the ENEA Casaccia Research Centre, near Rome, the collected data were assembled to create three dimensional virtual models.
The methodology, which is utterly non-destructive and very accurate, provides useful information  both to the restorer and the academic. The virtual models were sent to the Italian firms UNOCAD  and Zanchetta Marmi, where the actual marble sculpting was carried out. 

Daniela Picchi, Archaeological Museum of Bologna, Italy
It ‘s a joint project of the Archaeological Museum of Bologna and ENEA, which  have common objectives, and the most important one is to help the preservation of unique and very fragile masterpieces...

A gift from the Archaeological Museum of Bologna the to the Egyptian government, the replicas, after a short time’s exposition at the Italian Cultural Institute of Cairo, will be taken to Saqqara to complete the restoration of the tombs. Plundered and exposed to hostile weather conditions and the spreading of the desert sand for a long time, Saqqara is one of the most significant archaeological site in Egypt. As a result of the excavation and restoration campaign which is being carried on by the Archaeological Museum of Leiden in the Netherlands, some important tombs and monuments have been re-opened to the public since 2011. In the meanwhile, another replica of Ptahemwia’s relief, as faithful as the first one, was produced to remain in the city of Bologna.  

Daniela Picchi, Archaeological Museum of Bologna, Italy
“Another objective of our project is to use high quality replicas in tactile paths, which we do not mean to confine to blind people but open to everybody...  because we often cannot see infinite details, such as this engraving’s  infinite details ... “

powered by Disqus

ENEA - Lungotevere Thaon di Revel, 76 - 00196 ROMA – Italia - Partita IVA 00985801000 - Codice Fiscale 01320740580