Destroyed Temple of Bel in Syria’s Palmyra digitally reconstructed

Destroyed Temple of Bel in Syria

5 years after its destruction, the traditional Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria has been digitally reconstructed by the UC San Diego Library’s Digital Media Lab utilizing cutting-edge 3-D strategies and synthetic intelligence functions.

Destroyed Temple of Bel in Syria's Palmyra digitally reconstructed
Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria [Credit: University of California – San Diego]

Impressed by a previous collaboration between the Library and UC San Diego’s Levantine Archeology Laboratory, this challenge has resulted within the digital preservation of greater than a dozen misplaced reliefs, sculptures, frescos and work, all made publicly accessible on the Library’s Digital Collections web site.

Destroyed in 2015 through the Syrian civil conflict, the Temple of Bel has been referred to as crucial temple in the whole Center East (together with Lebanon’s Baalbek) and served as one of many best-preserved examples of historical artwork and structure, attracting greater than 150,000 vacationers yearly. Via the usage of greater than 3,000 publicly accessible digital pictures taken over the course of a decade, the library has efficiently recreated the construction utilizing Pointcloud, a web-based viewing platform.

“This challenge underscores the Library’s dedication to participating in collaborative efforts to higher perceive how the college can assist rising educating and analysis codecs,” mentioned Roger Smith, interim affiliate college librarian for scholarly sources and companies on the UC San Diego Library. “It additionally permits the Library to higher plan for our position in buying, preserving and sharing scholarship whereas incorporating new media and knowledge codecs.”

The digital pictures used to create the digital rendering of the Temple of Bel had been sourced from open entry repositories such because the #NEWPALMYRA challenge, the Roman Society, Oxford College, and lots of particular person vacationers, then populated into Pointcloud, which permits customers to interactively discover the as soon as large temple compound. Moreover, synthetic intelligence functions had been used to isolate the temple’s necessary options from different components which will have appeared within the photos comparable to vacationers, climate circumstances, and foliage.

“This new expertise has allowed the Library to mix picture knowledge from many alternative sources,” mentioned Scott McAvoy, supervisor of the Library’s Digital Media Lab. “For instance, a photograph from a Polish vacationer visiting in 2010 may be mixed with a photograph from a Japanese vacationer visiting 5 years later to extract 3-D options. These photos have offered the premise for the reconstruction of this web site—with out them, we’d not have been in a position to embark on or efficiently full this challenge.”

Creator: April Inexperienced | Supply: College of California – San Diego [August 20, 2020]

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