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Products for grant FEL-257634-18

FEL-257634-18
The Ancient Greek Temple of Hera at Olympia: A Digital Architectural History
Philip Sapirstein, Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FEL-257634-18

Traveling athletes and artisans in archaic Olympia (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Traveling athletes and artisans in archaic Olympia
Abstract: An important conclusion of my recent research into the architecture of the temple of Hera at Olympia is that its stone colonnades are largely original to the building, and not, as formerly believed, the result of piecemeal repairs to an older wooden colonnade. The stone columns, as originals from the first quarter of the sixth century BCE, reveal a wide array of construction techniques that are only attested in distant places such as Aigina and Syracuse, as if expert masons had traveled to Olympia and collaborated on the construction of the Heraion. This case can be added to the extensive evidence for itinerant artisans and architects who were active elsewhere in Olympia during the seventh and sixth centuries BCE. In this talk, I will review the archaeological evidence for inter-regional exchanges at Olympia and discuss why the sanctuary was such an important locus for the formation of archaic Greek art. The sanctuary seems to have balanced two contradictory forces in the development of archaic art: a universalizing push toward idealized forms of art and architecture that were rapidly disseminated throughout the Greek world, and a simultaneous expression of individual identity through the deliberate rejection of the pan-Hellenic norms in favor of regional ones. Archaeologists have tended to explain regionalism through what we know of the political history of Olympia in the early Archaic period—especially in terms of the conflicts among Elis, Pisatis, and Sparta—while downplaying the evidence for more complex interactions among individuals and groups from many other Greek centers. I will make the case that the quadrennial gatherings at the site by aristocrats from throughout the Greek world, and the general context of pan-Hellenic athletic competition, must have profoundly shaped and mediated the sorts of artistic and technical exchanges that connected Olympia to the Peloponnesian and western colonial Greek worlds.
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Date: 7-11-2018
Location: Ancient Olympia, Greece: the 2018 IOA-CHS Symposium, Athla for the People: Democracy, Empire, and the Power of Athletics

The 3D Olympia Monument Explorer: Exploring large 3D Data Sets, Texts, and Images of an Early Monumental Temple (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The 3D Olympia Monument Explorer: Exploring large 3D Data Sets, Texts, and Images of an Early Monumental Temple
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Abstract: In my talk, I will describe the project website for the Heraion currently under development (2018–2019) with the support of an NEH/Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication. First, I have “flattened” the monument into raster imagery embedding depth information, thus retaining the 3D data while compressing the files to about 100th their original size. Second, the temple is represented in a series of orthographic plan and elevation views, which has been the norm for architectural study and publication. The goal is not to develop an experiential, game-like environment—that through simplification deletes the vast majority of the original 3D scans—but rather a comprehensive research platform for understanding the architecture of the Heraion in detail. An interactive environment built on mapping technologies will enable visitors to pan and zoom around visualizations of the remains, even with limited bandwidth. During the talk, I will present a preview of the site, comment on the underlying technologies, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of this new method for architectural presentation and study.
Date: 1-5-2019
Conference Name: 2019 AIA-SCS Joint Annual Meeting, San Diego

Photogrammetry and 3D modeling: Archaeological recording for buildings and objects (Course or Curricular Materials)
Title: Photogrammetry and 3D modeling: Archaeological recording for buildings and objects
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Abstract: While visiting Emory University for giving a public lecture, I developed and delivered a Master Class attended by graduate students and faculty at Emory and nearby universities. The class was a half-day event held on Feb. 1, 2019.
Year: 2019
Audience: Graduate

Digital autopsy and the Temple of Hera at Olympia: rethinking the origins of Greek monumental architecture (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Digital autopsy and the Temple of Hera at Olympia: rethinking the origins of Greek monumental architecture
Abstract: The lecture reviewed recent work at Olympia, addressing both the digital recording and visualization of the Hera temple and proposing a model for the collaborative construction of the temple by teams of masons who traveled to the site from throughout the Greek world.
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Date: 1-30-2019
Location: Art History / Mediterranean Studies lecture, Emory University

MACS Proseminar: Recent Research on the Temple of Hera at Olympia (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: MACS Proseminar: Recent Research on the Temple of Hera at Olympia
Abstract: The lecture reviewed recent work at Olympia, addressing the evidence of multiple construction techniques used in columns of the temple of Hera, and proposed the model that teams of masons traveled to the site from throughout the Greek world.
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Date: 12-6-2018
Location: Mediterranean Archaeology Seminar, University of Toronto

The impact of photogrammetry on the study, analysis, and presentation of architecture (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The impact of photogrammetry on the study, analysis, and presentation of architecture
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Abstract: As a classically trained studio artist and draftsperson who has also adopted photogrammetric recording in recent years, I am concerned at how digital recording is changing our ability to perceive, investigate, and communicate our findings about a monument. I will consider the impacts in particular on my recent work at the temple of Hera at Olympia (2013–2018), which relied exclusively on 3D recording. I argue that the technological efficiency of photogrammetry offers some solutions to the potential loss of close-looking and introspective research, although not necessarily those often promoted in current discussions of new technology. I also suggest that photogrammetrists should continue to activate the valuable eye-hand-mind pathways induced by traditional drawing, although they must make several deliberate choices in how they spend their time in order to do so. Overall, I am optimistic that the field of ancient architecture will blossom as it integrates an exceptionally powerful and potentially revolutionary new recording tool that allows researchers, on the one hand, to reassess to the original remains of an ancient building with immense speed and clarity, while on the other to rethink architecture at greater scale and with more creativity than could possibly be conceived just one decade ago.
Date: 3-29-2019
Conference Name: Parthenon2: Digital Approaches to Architectural Heritage, held at Vanderbilt University

New approaches to old things: why study ancient monuments and sculpture in 3D? (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: New approaches to old things: why study ancient monuments and sculpture in 3D?
Abstract: This was a lecture aimed at first-year undergraduates at Oxford College, part of Emory University, which introduced them to the kinds of advanced techniques for 3D visualization and publication that are currently possible. Results from the Olympia project were a significant component of the lecture
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Date: 1-31-2019
Location: Oxford College of Emory University, Oxford GA

Segmentation, Reconstruction, and Visualization of Ancient Inscriptions in 2.5D (Article)
Title: Segmentation, Reconstruction, and Visualization of Ancient Inscriptions in 2.5D
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Abstract: Note that the draft of this paper was submitted for peer review before the grant period, and its primary concern is another architectural project. However, the techniques it describes were improved and a code base released during the grant period. These analytical tools are also fundamental to the visualization techniques I am using for the Olympia project, and I continued working on them during the grant period. I also spent about one week revising the text in late summer 2018, edited proofs in early 2019, and the paper was published in Spring 2019. Abstract: This article presents a new algorithm for the automated reconstruction and visualization of damaged ancient inscriptions. After reviewing current methods for enhancing incisions, a hybrid approach is adopted that combines advantages of 2D and 3D analytical techniques. A photogrammetric point cloud of an inscription is projected orthographically from an ideal vantage point, generating a 2.5D raster, including channels describing depth and surface derivatives. The next consideration is the obstacle to legibility posed by breaks in the ancient surface, which motivates the development of a new segmentation algorithm based on SLIC superpixels with region-merging adapted to operate on the geometry of the inscribed surface instead of color or intensity values. The algorithm classifies surface points by their likelihood of belonging to the uninscribed original plane, deliberate strokes, or breaks. Results are visualized in a manner suited for epigraphical analysis and publication through static images. Two case studies demonstrate the power and flexibility of this method, which has indicated changes to the reading of IG XIV 1, an early Greek text that has been debated for more than 150 years.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3286977
Access Model: Available to subscribers to the journal or the ACM digital library (not Open Access)
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery

Enhancement tools for 3D models of damaged inscribed surfaces (Computer Program)
Title: Enhancement tools for 3D models of damaged inscribed surfaces
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Abstract: This is the code developed in concert with the 2019 Journal on Computing and Cultural heritage paper, listed separately in this section. I have continued to develop these techniques in service of the Olympia project, although the generalized version designed for architectural rendering is not yet available. The latter would be released on a separate Github repository when it is fully functional.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: https://github.com/psapirstein/epigraphyEnhance
Access Model: Open Access (with restrictions noted below)
Programming Language/Platform: Matlab (the code is free, but to function it requires that users have a local installation of the program, which is propriety)
Source Available?: Yes

History of exploration of the Temple of Hera at Olympia (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: History of exploration of the Temple of Hera at Olympia
Author: Philip Sapirstein
Abstract: This archive is not yet available, since its materials are meant to be shared through a 3DOME project website, and coordinated with a traditional print publication about the Hera temple project. It comprises digitized records compiled from several archive sources in Athens and Germany pertaining to the excavations of the temple in the 1870s and the subsequent interventions at the site through the modern era. These include more than 130 plans and other kinds of illustrations of the architecture and associated objects, 230 historical photographs, 53 notebooks and other unpublished documents kept by previous scholars who worked on the site, and excerpts from 32 digitized publications. Additional discussion of these resources is found elsewhere in the proposal.
Year: 2019
Access Model: Open Access


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