Dragomir Milojevic1 / Nadine Warzée1 / Didier Viviers2

(1 Service des Systémes Logiques et Numériques – SLN, CP165/57, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium / 2Centre de Recherches Archéologiques – CReA, CP175/01, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

In 2004 excavation campaigns that took place in Itanos, Crete, reveled a necropolis, probably dated from IVth and Ist century B.C. The stratigraphic situation of this site is particularly complex because it has been occupied several times, in different periods. Different hypothesis on cemetery organization in space and time have been established, based on a 2D information collected during the campaign. These hypotheses are hard to verify by only using a 2D information because we are in front of a 4D problem: 3 dimensions for space and one for time. Image synthesis and 3D reconstruction can help in the process of hypothesis verification since the archaeologist can easily manipulate, explore and visualize 3D models.
During the excavation campaign, 2D plans of the site and excavation process have been made. Also, an important quantity of digital image and video content has been acquired. After the campaign, the 2D plans of the site were used for 3D modeling and digital images used for texturing, resulting an increased realism. The 3D modeling, realized with image synthesis software Kinetix 3DSMaxV6.0, involved a close collaboration between engineers, computer graphic designers and archaeologists.
The 3D model is structured in layers for easier manipulation, visualization and choice of the excavation and/or reconstruction stage for rendering. The complete model has 901 objects (93.026 polygons) and can be easily manipulated and rendered even with a classic personal computer based on Intel Pentium4 microprocessor. Our future work will consist in importation of this 3D model in specific virtual reality software, such as VirTools, for even easier model manipulation and exploration. Thus, even a non-specialized public can easily navigate in the virtual 3D environment of the site and explore different occupation phases in space and time.