Mariapaola MONTI / Giuseppe MAINO
(University of Bologna, Ravenna campus, Italy)

Keywords: mosaics, virtual restoration, open-source software, image processing

During the excavations carried out in summer 2011 by Hera (a multiutility company that deals with the management of water, energy and waste in Emilia Romagna, Italy) in Piazza Anita Garibaldi in Ravenna for the making of new underground waste containers for the separate collection, five rooms decorated with mosaic floors were found, probably dating to the early Roman Empire (I-II century A.D.). The mosaics were removed for restoration and musealization, however – given the size of the gaps – it would not be possible to reintegrate them in a traditional restoration without creating arbitrary reconstructions. For this reason we opted for a digital reconstruction of the gaps, making some virtual restoration hypothesis for the recovered mosaics; in this way it is possible to grasp the trend of the figuration how it could have been in the past. Use has been made of advanced image processing techniques and of open-source software in order to verify the feasibility of this approach to the documentation of mosaics and their study with suitable hypotheses of virtual reconstruction and 3D simulation of the home environments. In particular, digital images of mosaics have been processed to improve their quality and to allow comparison with the physical restoration, then corrected for geometric distortions and completed according to the sizes of the rooms and the fragments of the decoration also found during the excavations.