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The SHARP Project

With Brown University researchers in Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics and the Center for Old World Archaeology and Art and Department of Anthropology, a multi-disciplinary research effort was undertaken in 1999. We initiated a project to develop virtual reality systems to recreate 3-D scenes of the Great Temple. The SHARP (SHape Analysis, digital ARchaeology, Photogrammetry) project is being developed using the Brown University Great Temple databases. The project is funded by a three-year 1.2 million dollar grant from the United States National Science Foundation. We are hopeful that we can design software that will allow archaeologists to model and reconstruct buildings, statues, and other complex shapes from photos and video. It is a significant interdisciplinary effort for scientific research with a direct application to important problems in the analysis of archaeological finds.
The project is designed to develop more descriptive and effective ways of using computers to model and make inferences about three-dimensional shapes and surfaces. The project's other major goals are to design more effective computer site models for unearthed artifacts and structures that will incorporate time, location, three-dimensional position and other data gleaned from object images. Using computers to construct three-dimensional models for reassembling artifacts including statues and columns and other structures from images, the aim is to build a database of those fragments, and to make use of computers to recognize or infer artisan or artistic style from fragments of larger pieces. This would help archaeologists determine what groups of ancient people produced the objects as well as relate structures at one site to other sites.

Information on Site consolidation is available in the 1999 Excavation Report.

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