Maria Gabriella Micale

(Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy)

Since European archeological activities started in the 19th century, efforts to reconstruct the images of ancient Near Eastern cities in publication have affected the character of both the production and diffusion of discoveries to the general public and the scholarly world. During the course of time, the practice of creating likely images, not only of decorative apparata but for mostly of architectural remains, has become a “traditional” practice. At the same time, creating images is a crucial device that archaeologists and other scholars have developed and still develop to hypothesize, manage, perform, visualize and hand down the quantities of data that they produce. If the assumptions and aims of architectural reconstruction did not completely change from the 19th century until today, the development of technology has gradually affected them, turning a mere image into a virtual reality.
This paper aims at presenting an analytical investigation of some recent experiences in the field of the digital architectural reconstructions. The analysis mainly emphasizes the role of both real and mental sources of reconstructed contexts, recognizing and “disentangling” their components. Thus, we must start from a structuralist analysis of the whole of the archeological and architectural data in each case, in order to explain the nature of each architectural context and so render it in return to its most likely image. Thus, it is possible to bring together the reconstructed components of the whole context and look at it in the light of its complex nature, its limits and contradictions. This is also the start of a new and maybe even more “real” intellectual experience of Mesopotamian architecture.

Keywords: Ancient Near east, Architectural reconstructions