Ylenia RICCI | Giorgio VERDIANI | Andrea PASQUALI
(Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Architettura, Firenze, Italy)

Keywords: Photogrammetry, Virtual Reality, Istanbul, Medusa, Sculpture

The Basilica Cistern, Yerebatan Sarnici in Turkish, it’s the largest of all the hundreds of ancient cisterns that rise below the city of Istanbul. In the North-West corner of the Cisterna, the bases of two columns reuse the carved blocks with the face of Medusa. The origin of the two heads is unknown, it is possible to say the same for a third (double) head located in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul. These three/four heads of Medusa are masterpieces from the late Roman art. The research presented here starts from a digital photogrammetric study of this set of Medusa’s heads, this allowed to obtain a 3D digital model to study its morphology and shapes, then the model has been collocated inside the 3D virtual reconstruction of the Cistern in order to have an overall view. The assumption formulated here, with the cross referencing obtained during the research phase and digital photogrammetry, lead us to the idea that the heads may come from a Doric temple dedicated to Athena, in this specific case used as a metope, or from the triumphal arch dedicated to Constantine, in Constantinople. The aim is therefore to bring back to life, using a process of virtual reconstruction, with contemporary technology, such as virtual reality, an architectural element from the past, through a virtual journey that traces the history of these stone giants, placing them in their hypothetical original context with augmented reality.

Relevance for the conference: Scientific reconstruction process and high quality survey combined towards public presentation
Relevance for the session: Significant use of digital survey tools and virtual multimedia to allow sharing and understanding of an artwork
Innovation: Step forward in understanding fragments from the ancient past
• Önlü, Şehnaz. (2010) ANALYSIS OF STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS OF BASILICA CISTERN. Istanbul Technical University ;
• Freely, J. & Çakmak, A.S, 2004: Byzantine Monuments of İstanbul, Cambridge University Pres, London