DIGITIZATION OF BLOCKS AND VIRTUAL ANASTYLOSIS OF AN ANTIQUE FACADE IN PONT-SAINTE-MAXENCE (FRANCE)
Keywords: Close Range Photogrammetry, Laser Scanning, Archaeology, Anastylosis, Simulation
Abstract. This paper is dedicated to the digitization of blocks and virtual anastylosis of an antique façade in Pont-Sainte-Maxence (France). In 2014 during the construction of a shopping center, the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) discovered a Gallo-Roman site from the 2nd century AD. The most interesting part of the site for the study is a façade of 70 meters long by nearly 10 meters high. The state of the conservation of the blocks of the façade makes them exceptional due to the question raised by the collapse. Representative and symbolic blocks of this building have been selected for a virtual anastylosis study. The blocks discovered belong to different types: decorated architectural blocks, monumental statuary elements and details of very fine decorations. The digital reproduction of the façade will facilitate the formulation of hypothesis for the collapse of the structure. The Photogrammetry and Geomatics Group from INSA Strasbourg is in charge of the digitization, the anastylosis and the development of exploratory methods for understanding the ruin of the façade. To develop the three-dimensional model of the facade, approximately 70 blocks of various dimensions were chosen by the archaeologists. The choice of the digitization technique is made according to the following pragmatic criterion: the movable objects are acquired with a scan-arm or a hand-held scanner in the laboratory and the largest blocks are recorded by photogrammetry at the repository near Paris. The expected types of deliverables are multiple: very accurate 3D models with the most faithful representation to document the objects in the best way and with optimized size model allowing easy handling during anastylosis tests. The visual aspect of the models is also a very important issue. Indeed, textures from photos are an excellent way to bring about the realism of the virtual model, but fine details of the object are sometimes blurred by the uniformity of the color of the original material. Acquisition by hand-held scanner does not provide the textures (they must be acquired according to a complementary process). The data types are therefore different depending on the acquisition. The type of rendering of the models depends therefore on precise choices to be defined optimally. After the acquisition, hypothesis for the construction of the façade must be validated and / or adapted by the anastylosis of the digitized blocks. Different cases must be taken into account. First, the reconstruction of broken blocks is done by adjusting the recovered fragments. If all the fragments discovered are close to the initial shape of the block, the process is assimilated to a puzzle of complex surfaces. If the fragments have no contact but are an integral part of the block, the proportion of hypotheses in relation to the contact pieces is changed. And finally, if the blocks are to be assembled together by superposition and thanks to a common plan, as assumed during the construction, the restitution could be based on the positions of discoveries and hypotheses based on the architectural knowledge of this period. Each of these three methods of reconstruction involves different processes. The three-dimensional model will be validated by the positioning of the blocks and extended according to the actual dimensions of the façade. Different collapse scenarios will result from this study.