The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B2-2020
14 Aug 2020
 | 14 Aug 2020


C. Balletti, F. Guerra, and A. Lorenzon

Keywords: Photogrammetry, Laser Scanning, 3D Modelling, Cultural Heritage Documentation, Visualization

Abstract. The Venetian galea (galley), dominating the Mediterranean Sea for almost 1000 years, is one of the most emblematic and fascinating objects in the history and culture of the Serenissima Republic of San Marco, the official name of ancient Venice. This boat has changed according to the needs and developments that have taken place over the centuries, proving versatile and powerful in military and commercial use.

Unfortunately, no complete specimen has been received, and everything that can be known about galleys derives from paintings made in different eras, in models and in some original parts, kept inside the Naval Historical Museum of Venice.

Another source are some manuscripts, where part of the traditional shipbuilding knowledge is handed down. To understand a galley it is necessary to understand which techniques were used by the proti (directors of the ancient shipyard) which differ substantially from the current design.

These techniques were the synthesis of knowledge handed down from person to person and which did not make use of design drawings such as are used today. To obtain the reconstruction of a galley, lacking complete original drawings, we collected and analyzed different documentation that testified the ancient forms.

The presented work aims to reconstruct a digital model of a galea starting from the photogrammetric and laser scanning survey of a wooden model of the hull of half of a 25-bench galley of the mid-seventeenth century. The surveyed maquette and brought back to the real scale was integrated by some artifacts present at the Naval History Museum of Venice, surveyed with photogrammetric techniques and laser scanning too.

In this way a hypothetical configuration was reconstructed (by synthesis of collected and historical data) which shows the shape that this boat could reasonably have had. The result is a digital model, then printed to the scale, obtained by three-dimensional modeling starting from the point clouds of the maquette and the original artifacts. This final model has been compared with all the iconographic and documentary sources for its historical validation.

The results obtained were used for a set-up aimed at enhancing the museum, because it was intended for a large audience.