Rebuilding ancient monuments
- View SourceI think some ancient monuments in India also should be rebuilt, in
replica or in form of electronic images.
The Chinese (some of the towers) and the Japanese (forts) have
rebuilt some of their lost monuments.
Egypt rebuilds ancient tomb
Egyptologists are working to make an exact copy of the tomb of Seti
Subsidence closed the original desert tomb many years ago, but using
high-resolution images and 3D maps, project workers hope to build an
exact replica of the tomb near Egypt's new National Museum by 2005.
Leader of the project Adam Low told BBC World Service: "The facsimile
will be more complete than the tomb is now.
"We are working to show what is physically possible using the cutting
edge of technology."
It aims to enable people to experience the tomb without damaging it.
Relief works will be recast
Adam Low, of the company Factum Arte, described how the tomb was once
so beautiful that it had been likened to "the Sistine chapel of
"It was discovered in 1817 by Belzoni," he explained. "But within a
few years sections had been hacked out and taken to museums around
"More endemically, the surface had been squeezed, which was basically
a process of casting.
According to Low, using a mixture of wax and vegetable fibre, art
historians had attempted to obtain true reliefs. However, the mixture
had the detrimental effect of also removing all of the paint.
"We took this as our first starting point as it raises lots of
questions about what you do with facsimiles," Low said.
"Should the facsimile aim to show the tomb exactly like it is? Are
there ways that we scan sections of Seti and bring more and more data
Using high quality scanning equipment, individual artefacts which are
currently scattered in museums and galleries around the world, are
now painstakingly being recorded and will be rebuilt using this data.
The end result, the project workers hope, will be a facsimile tomb
which will be more complete than the one which is underground.
"Most of the digital work that has gone on focuses on screen-based
display," Low explained. "But you can now take our digital data and
carve it and rout it.
"It will be an exact replica of the tomb to an accuracy of a tenth of
a millimetre. Including dust on the floor, the temperature and smells
in the tomb; it will have exactly the same qualities."
The tomb of Seti is often considered the largest and most lavishly
decorated tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
Since the 1980s it has been closed to the public because of
structural problems - exacerbated by the thousands of annual
The former head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities, Professor
Gaballah ali Gaballah, said there was a real need for the replica
"This tomb is not visited by everybody... we do not even allow
Egyptian students in and that is wrong as this is their heritage;
they are entitled to it."