Scratches? Scribbles? Scripture! Revealing the Unseen : 3D Scanning of Glagolitic Graffiti of the 10th Century at the Monastery of St. Naum

Faculty/Professorship: Centre for Heritage Conservation Studies and Technologies  ; University of Bamberg  ; Faculty of the Humanities 
Author(s): Tenschert, Ruth  ; Rahrig, Max ; Drewello, Rainer ; Kempgen, Sebastian  
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2020
Pages: 11
Source/Other editions: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies 2018 / Museen der Stadt Wien – Stadtarchäologie. Wien : Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies 2019.
Year of first publication: 2018
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.20378/irb-47604
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-476045
The Monastery of Saint Naum in Macedonia is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region”. The area is unique not only for its architecture but also its outstanding linguistic heritage. The monastery was named after Saint Naum and founded at the end of the 9th century and is visited by many tourists every day. In the transition from the narthex to the central church, the visitor immediately notices two shiny white marble columns. These columns carry unique inscriptions/graffiti, which represent some of the earliest evidence of the Glagolitic alphabet, a precursor of the Cyrillic alphabet. During the project, previously unseen inscriptions were revealed on the columns. The huge number of tourists poses a danger to the historic surfaces of the columns, as the constant touching and rubbing of the inscriptions is causing deterioration. Therefore, there is an urgent need to image and archive the inscriptions. Using macrophotography with raking light did not work well as the columns’ curvature and shiny surface caused blurring in the images, and some of the graffiti were not visible. Therefore, a structured light scanner with a 3D point resolution of 30 μm or less was used to record the columns, to both preserve and reveal these unique graffiti. The recording of the surfaces was deliberately carried out without texture information to exclude errors caused by the shiny and discoloured marble of the columns. The resulting high-resolution 3D model can be virtually illuminated from any angle, for example using raking light, allowing detailed observations and analysis. In addition to digitally preserving and archiving the inscriptions, the resulting surface models can be easily accessed by Slavistic and linguistic experts for a variety of research purposes.
GND Keywords: Manastir Sveti Naum; Denkmalpflege; Kulturerbe
Keywords: 3D Scanning, Cultural Heritage, Graffiti, Surface Analysis, Revealing Lost Inscriptions, Macedonia, Sveti Naum, Cyrillic, Glagolitic
DDC Classification: 720 Architecture  
RVK Classification: LH 60370   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Release Date: 26. May 2020

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