(Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Architecture narmer architecture studio, Budapest, Hungary)
The site of Bir Minih, situated in the Eastern Desert of Egypt south of Wadi Hammamat, has been explored by the Hungarian Mission since 1998. The finds include ruins of a settlement with an adjacent cemetery, a vast amount of rock drawings and rock inscriptions and areas of mining activity as well and more possible palaeolithic and/or neolithic camps. The documented rock drawings and inscriptions cover a remarkable long period till recent times.
The tasks of reconstruction of a whole object from its fragments are frequent in archaeological research. The Survey Project at Bir Minih (1998-2003) involves applications of advanced digital technologies for a detailed reconstruction of the archaeological landscape: analysis and classification by remote sensing and GIS, interpretation and presentation of the results through virtual reality and visual information systems. Most relevant aspect of the research is a multidisciplinary approach, starting with the acquisition of the data during the fieldwork, and then creating predictive classified maps, databases, including the 3D models.
The aim of this paper is to show some examples of these models and consider how the case studies compare with the traditional methods of recording and depicting the archaeological sites. The presentation is a virtual reconstruction of the settlement phases as well. All of the work is referred to above strives to unite the disciplines of engineering and archaeology, using this study to demonstrate the potential that interdisciplinary co-operation.
Survey work near Bir Minih and limited excavations in some of the sites have also revealed an elaborate structure of houses and graves, infrastructure of spatial connections. The proposed research paper explores the role of Virtual Reconstruction Technology in determining strategies of documentation of significant objects in Bir Minih: about 400 houses, more than 100 tumuli, 400 rock drawings and inscriptions and other archaeological objects. Our emphasis is to obtain data sets, which can be used later in surface and volume modelling, study of physical/chronological relations, surface morphology and spatial analysis.
3D MODELLING OF AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE IN THE EASTERN DESERT OF EGYPT