The image shows shelfs after shelfs of archaeological finds. Photo: Sebasitan Hageneuer

My trip to the Vorderasiatisches Museum


So the VAM is the “Vorderasiatisches Museum” in Berlin. I went to their archive to do some scanning and it was quite a view. The archive definitely reminds me of that end scene of the first Indiana Jones movie, although I couldn’t find the covenant…

Why was I there?

So as part of my Garden Scene project, I want to collect more pieces to the puzzle. The Garden Scene isn’t the whole thing you must know. It was part of a way bigger composition and I am currently travelling around to find and scan more pieces. This week I was in Berlin and scanned two fragments of the overall composition. As I am writing this on my way back, I have not processed the images, but will do so soon.

The VAM houses two (at least what is known of) pieces of that greater composition. The first one is showing a flute player and the second one two servants in front of a table. I scanned both pieces in different techniques.

How did I scan?

So as usual, I started with good old Structure from Motion, which basically means, that I simply took a lot of photos. I was bringing my own lamps this time, as the lighting in the archive was not very good. The SfM models will help me to quickly create 3D models as it is pretty straight forward. As a second method however, I used a handheld 3D scanner to do precise scans of the objects. This scanner is pretty new, so I still need practice, but I think I created some good 3D models.

Lastly I also did some RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging). This time I did not use our RTI-domes, but rather created handheld RTI. It went pretty well, except that due to the unfortunate lighting, some shadows always were on the object. Let’s just hope the bright flashlight from the RTI photography eliminates that somehow. Once set up, every scanning method was pretty fast.

What’s next?

As soon as I have the time, I will post-process the images created this week into 3D models and RTI images. The results will become part of my online publication (that is still in progress) and enable the viewer to see all the pieces known and reconstructed to that greater relief of the North Palace in Nineveh.

My next trip will bring me to Leiden, the Netherlands, where another piece is stored. This time it will be a beautiful and intricate tree that will form part of the greater relief. I should mention that I am able to do all of this due to funding by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation. I’ll let you know how it went in Leiden!



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Sebastian Hageneuer

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. (Nearly) Every Friday.

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