Digital Minturnae Project:
Recombining Terracotta Pedimental Sculpture on the Capitolium
Host Organization: the American Academy at Rome
Supervising Faculty: Dr. Bernard Frischer
Collaborators: Sophie Crawford-Brown
This two week internship focused on developing a 3D restoration model of the entire area sacra of Minturnae, including the “Capitolium” and the three-winged portico that surrounded it. Both structures were decorated with architectural terracottas in antiquity, and it will be interesting to see how they relate/interact visually. The internship also allowed the creation of a digital record, which will serve as a useful tool in historical preservation and conservation. Sophie Crawford-Brown, my collaborator and the lead on this project, had already conducted most of the required archival and on-site research before we began.
This summer, our internship project goals were: 1) to photogrammetrically model the extant terracotta fragments from the pediment; 2) finalize the floor plan that we will use for the reconstruction; 3) have Professor Frischer to train us in working with the Italian institutions, and 4) to discuss the possibility of restoring the polychromy on the sculptures. We intend to publish the resulting academic paper as part of an article for Studies in Digital Heritage, our lab’s new journal based here at Indiana University (expected in May 2020).
This project was an excellent fit for the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs: International Enhancement Grant, because it involved a great amount of interaction with officials in Italy, as well as the American Academy in Rome. I have been working for two years to build strong relationships between these organizations and Italy, and Indiana University. This summer Sophie and I continued that work, and I am extremely grateful to the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs’ support in these endeavors that are beneficial for me, and Indiana University as a whole.
Thanks to my courses here at Indiana University in digital modeling and reconstruction methodology, we were able to quickly finish the project. Continuing my affiliation with the American Academy in Rome has enhanced my personal academic program at Indiana University. During the summer period, there were constantly scholars moving in and out of the Academy, and I successfully met many important people. Such a network will be critical in securing a job upon graduation. This internship also enhanced the experience of my students, several of whom were able to work on this project as well.