3D Reconstruction of Furniture Fragments from the Ancient Town of Karanis

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Eiman Elgewely


Furniture is the most personalized component of architectural space. It reflects or even determines the use of space, but also the standard of living, the gender, and age of the user. Heirlooms, furthermore, are retainers of memory and social relationships.  The raw materials used and the level of skill and craftsmanship to produce furniture speak to the availability of such items for the community. Import of wood, techniques, or entire pieces of furniture show connectedness with other production centers. Furniture fragments are abundant among the well-preserved archaeological finds from the ancient Greco-Roman Town of Karanis, a site located on the arid desert edge of the Fayum basin, Egypt. Objects include furniture legs, boxes, reading tables, and table tops. The University of Michigan mission which worked on the site for about ten years (1924-1934), had as its main focus the architecture of Karanis. The furnishings of these structure do, however, provide important information and a study of the woodworking and composition of the pieces has now been undertaken, together with an attempt to place these remains back in their virtual context. The reconstruction of the Karanis furniture provides a major challenge because the fragments belong to various time periods and combine Egyptian, Greek, and Roman influences and tastes. This research is a next phase of the project “Reviving Karanis in 3D”, which we started in 2013.  In this research, we aim at using state-of-the-art digital technologies to create multiple interpretations of 3D reconstruction of a selection of furniture pieces based on analysis and photogrammetric models of wood furniture fragments from the Karanis collection of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan.  


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How to Cite
Elgewely, E. (2017). 3D Reconstruction of Furniture Fragments from the Ancient Town of Karanis. Studies in Digital Heritage, 1(2), 409–427. https://doi.org/10.14434/sdh.v1i2.23340
Special Issue "Cultural Heritage and New Technologies 2016"
Author Biography

Eiman Elgewely, Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University

Dr Eiman Elgewely is a Fulbright alumna and Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University. Dr Elgewely achieved her Ph.D. from Alexandria University in 2011 in the field of virtual and Cyberspace design. She worked in several projects in the field of Digital Cultural Heritage in Egypt since 2007, including 3D scanning, documentation and virtual reconstruction of historical sites in collaboration with the Informatics Research Institute (IRI), City of Scientific Research. Dr Elgewely has joined the Experiential Technologies Center, School of Art and Architecture, University of California Los Angeles(UCLA)  in 2013 as a Fulbright Postdoctoral fellow, where she started a research project entitled: “Reviving Karanis in 3D”. Dr Elgewely is interested in cyberspace and virtual museum design. She is also interested in the interference between digital media and architectural spaces. 


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