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he Cultural Technology Unit of the
Cultural and Educational Technology
Institute (, with the
collaboration of the Institute's Multimedia
Unit, initiated an attempt to incorporate
the latest technologies and methodologies
into an integrated documentation environ-
ment for cultural objects.This began with
the development of a multimedia database
initially focused on archaeological ceramic
and glass artefacts.The database should
include detailed 2D and 3D images of
archaeological finds accompanied by mor-
phological-typological descriptions, histori-
cal and scientific data such as dating
measurements, mechanical properties and
stoichiometric analysis that where appro-
priate and possible will be mapped on
the 3D image.
combination of different technologies
were incorporated to implement this
task: 3D geometry and texture acquisition
technologies; 3D point-wise surface data
acquisition technologies; relational database
system technologies;Virtual Reality tech-
nologies (e.g.VRML); dynamic User
Interface technologies realised through Java
and PHP languages. Finally, borrowing
ideas from GIS systems (where 3D infor-
mation is structured in layers and the user
can visualise any kind of information lay-
ered graphically over the base background
layer), the effort was directed to the devel-
opment of a system where a user can visu-
tion of an artefact in every conceivable
detail.The effect that such a reconstruction
will have upon scientific research, dissemi-
nation of knowledge and public interest is
he main requirements of a modern
information retrieval system are:
immediate access to distant stored data; an
intelligent mechanism to turn raw data
into useful information; flexibility to allow
users to submit queries of varying com-
plexity with a number of options; and
finally a user-friendly environment. All
these requirements point directly to
Internet databases.There are many databas-
es with specialised content providing serv-
ices over the Internet. Specifically, a
cultural database is a database that can pro-
vide information related to cultural
objects, monuments, museums, heirlooms,
and so on. At present, the majority of these
databases' data are limited to 2D pictures
and drawings, textual descriptions and
tables of data, all used to describe the
archived object.
attractive way. It is not only, however, the
new imaging methods that help in the
documentation and preservation of cultural
heritage. In the early stages of archiving,
information was derived mainly from the
human senses, primarily vision and touch,
since they described the perceived promi-
nent and lasting characteristics of the arti-
cles. Advances in science and technology
enriched this information and made it
more complex, substantial, measurable, reli-
able and replicable.Today, innovations in
instrumentation make possible the extrac-
tion of even more accurate, point-wise
information of physicochemical character-
istics and mechanical properties of objects.
he combination of modern measure-
ments, 3D imaging, and mapping
provides a field for the development of
new ways to register and present informa-
tion that can once again revolutionise the
documentation of cultural heritage, leading
to integrated and complete recording with
the capability to visualise data not only
macroscopically, but also in a point-size
fashion, and enables the virtual reconstruc-
Figure 2. 3D Photographic scanner
Figure 3. micro X-Ray Fluorescence