The methodology covered different approaches and stages. We began with a thorough investigation of all the historical documentation related to the Comitium and Lapis Niger. Next, we digitized the area and its monuments, using state-of-the-art acquisition technologies, and then analyzed and compared the gathered data with the historical archive. Simultaneously, we implemented an online platform that allows segmenting and organizing the raw data into infinite possibilities, thus providing an extensive database for current and future research.
REINTERPRETING THE HISTORICAL DOCUMENTATION
Prior to the project, we had access to a significant amount of material from the excavations conducted by Boni and Romanelli, which had been digitized at Palazzo Altemps with the ARCHEOLECTIO. However, this documentation needed to be reviewed and reinterpreted in order to provide historical and topographical context for the monuments. This study was essential for the safe digital acquisition and for comparing the digital surveys with historical data. It also allowed us to texturize the three-dimensional models with the archaeologists’ drawings.
DIGITALIZACIÓN DEL PATRIMONIO
Due to the fragility of the Comitium’s structures and the challenging access and low lighting in the area, one of the main challenges was the use of appropriate technologies and techniques for the preservation of the monuments and their archaeological context.
- Comitium’s area digitization
- Lapis Niger digitization
- Stone’s inscription digitization
We focused on documenting the relationship between the space and the stratigraphy of the historical phases of each monument in the Comitium area, underground spaces, and conduits of the Cloaca Maxima. In order to achieve this, we created a faithful digital replica of the excavation phases using photogrammetry and laser scanning techniques combined with controlled lighting. The result was a series of high-resolution digital assets, including orthophotos, meshes and point clouds, that were subsequently compared to the historical documentation.
The second research line focused on laser scanning the Lapis Niger inscription using CAM2 Arm technology. We obtained a digital model of the stone through a high-resolution point cloud, which was then processed in a web platform designed specifically to study its features in detail, with specialized tools for analyzing incisions and engravings.