2013 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship
Dr. Eleni Bozia used her 2013 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to travel to Rome, Italy, where she completed the 3D scanning of statues at Palazzo Altemps – Soprintendeza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma under the supervision of archaeologist and curator Dr. Alessandra Capodiferro. The completion of this project allowed Dr. Bozia to populate the 3D Virtual Museum of World Heritage, which is part of the UF Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology Project, a joint project with computer engineer Prof. Angelos Barmpoutis (CISE/Digital Worlds), Prof. Robert Wagman (Classics Department), and several other scholars from acclaimed American and European Universities and Institutions. The Digital Epigraphy Toolbox is a novel and technologically-advanced scientific tool for the effective study and comparative analysis of Greek and Latin inscriptions. It provides archaeologists and epigraphists with a cost-effective and efficient method for 3D digitization of inscriptions based on ektypa (paper casts, impressions of inscriptions on a paper) as well as access to an online dynamic library of 3D inscriptions. The Virtual Museum of World Heritage is a virtual interactive 3D museum featuring significant world-heritage exhibits.
The most exciting aspect of Bozia’s work is her desire to preserve, disseminate, increase the accessibility of inscriptions and other artifacts, and thus enhance research possibilities in Classical studies, archaeology, and epigraphy. More specifically, the Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology Project includes a graphical interface with user-friendly options for 3D visualization of artifacts, 3D navigation, and text-based information about the physical and the digital object. The users are able to upload their artifacts in various formats, such as scanned images of ektypa, photographs of inscriptions, or even 3D object files produced by 3D scanners, laser and depth scanners etc. They then have the option to reconstruct the tridimensional shape of the object from the images, view, rotate, zoom, and even change the direction of the light on the 3D model. Also, the user has the option to share his digitized artifacts with the scientific community as well as search through a semi-supervised dynamic library of uploaded objects for his own research or teaching purposes. Each database entry contains a comprehensive record of the inscription in the form of plain text, 3D model, photograph of the original artifact, and other information.
The collaborators include the Library of Congress, Washington, USA, the University of California, Berkeley, The National Archives [UK], Cornell University, Epidauros Collection, University of Florida, the University of Vienna, and the Laboratoire Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques (HISOMA) of the Institute Maison de l’ Orient et de la Méditerranée, Lyon, France.
Dr. Bozia’s work revolutionizes classical, archaeological, art, and museum studies via technology that will allow for the infinite preservation and comparative study of historical artifacts as well as interdisciplinary and international collaboration. Never before have ektypa been so widely accessible and interactive. Furthermore, recent additions to the project reveal the endless possibilities of preserving historical artifacts. The Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology Project’s 3-D Virtual Museum now includes exhibits from the UK National Archives and the Lincoln Gettysburg Address in collaboration with the UK National Archives, the Library of Congress, and Cornell University. The ultimate goal of the Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology group is to set advanced technologies to the service and promotion of the humanities. During the implementation phase of our project we intend to build a tool that will facilitate and enhance research in the aforementioned areas. The development of this project will also bridge gaps in collaborative and interdisciplinary research. Finally, our project is meant to reduce to a minimum the constraints that distance and financial support put on research projects.
Open access and partnership between scholars will inevitably produce limitless new projects about the historical narrative of antiquity and beyond. To visit the UF’s Digital Epigraphy and Archaeology project, please visit www.digitalepigraphy.org.