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Digital preservation of ancient cuneiform tablets using 3D-scanning

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5 Author(s)
Subodh Kumar ; Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD, USA ; Snyder, D. ; Duncan, D. ; Cohen, J.
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Cuneiform is the world's oldest known writing system. Ancient scribes impressed reed styluses onto damp clay to write the approximately 900 different logographic, syllabic and taxographic signs. These clay tablets were preserved in the ruins of ancient Near Eastern cities for millennia, and today sit in museum storerooms around the world, where they are subject to degradation and are available for study-only to scholars who can visit the collections in person. Cuneiform documents exhibit three dimensional writing on three dimensional surfaces and we seek to provide accurate, high resolution 3D models of these tablets for scholars' use in their research and for digital preservation of these unique historical artifacts. We describe our project and the requirements for constructing and publishing large digital libraries of these ancient tablets. We also present visualization requirements and algorithms for producing them.

Published in:

3-D Digital Imaging and Modeling, 2003. 3DIM 2003. Proceedings. Fourth International Conference on

Date of Conference:

6-10 Oct. 2003