The American Research Center in Eygpt

DYNAMIC 3D LASER SCAN FLY-THROUGH OF THE RED MONASTERY CHURCH

DYNAMIC 3D LASER SCAN FLY-THROUGH OF THE RED MONASTERY CHURCH

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DYNAMIC 3D LASER SCAN FLY-THROUGH OF THE RED MONASTERY CHURCH

For well over a decade, ARCE has been documenting, conserving, and studying the late fifth-century Red Monastery church, near Sohag in Upper Egypt with funding from USAID. The church is a triconch basilica, with a rectangular nave and a three-lobed sanctuary. The nave is largely an empty shell, its roof having collapsed in the medieval period, but the triconch sanctuary is enclosed and extremely well-preserved. A highly-skilled Italian team undertook the fine art conservation, and were joined by a large number of specialists in various fields. As a result of the project, the church has gone from almost total obscurity to international prominence. It is now recognized as one of a small number of churches from the early Byzantine period that have survived with most of their original decoration intact. The spectacular figural and ornamental paintings of the sanctuary date primarily to the sixth and the early seventh century.

Laser scanning technology provides remarkable opportunities for the production of high-quality, three-dimensional records of monuments. While the Red Monastery church was extensively drawn, photographed, and filmed during the course of the ARCE-USAID project, none of these documentary materials approaches laser scanning in terms of comprehensiveness, precision, and geo-spatial recording. Consequently, Elizabeth Bolman, the director of the project, decided to enlist Pietro Gasparri, architect and founder of C.P.T. Studio (Rome), to create a complete 3D laser scan of the building with the aim of documenting the church as comprehensively as possible. The work was funded by an ARCE Antiquities Endowment Fund Grant, and administered by the Red Monastery Project Architect Nicholas Warner. The dramatic 3D fly-through of the Red Monastery church is one result of that project.

VIEW THE 3D FLY-THROUGH >>

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