First version of the interactive application

10 Oct

The interactive application, that will be inaugurated in the Allard Pierson museum in Amsterdam on October 13, 2011, and in the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden on October 14, 2011, is working.  The application allows to interactively explore the Regolini-Galassi tomb by walking on a map of the tomb.  In the next blog entry, we will explain in detail how the application works.

tomb overview

View when enetering the tomb (image: CNR-ITABC)

This first version of the application shows already about 80 objects that were digitised in the last two months.  More objects will be added in upcoming versions. For digitisaton, several techniques were used. The tomb was digitised by laser scanning. Most objects were hand modelled from new photography that was made by the photographic department of the Vatican Museums.  Some objects (such as the cauldron with griffin heads above) were modelled by automatic photogrammetry from images.  Other objects could rely on physical reconstructions such as the chariot below.


View on the objects in the dromos (entrance) (image: CNR-ITABC)

Many objects need more work, as most objects still need to go through a process of extensive digital restoration to bring them back in their original  state at the moment of the burial.  This includes removal of corrosion and repair of broken or damaged parts. For others, the current reconstruction needs to be revised, based upon the most recent archaeological understanding about these objects (such as the chariot above).

cart and bed

View on the objects in the antechamber (image: CNR-ITABC)

Some objects were the result of extensive digital restoration. The situla for example (see image below) was recreated digitally based upon the current physical restoration.  This recreation was made by simulating the production processes of the object, such as engraving and embossing the sheet of silver that is wrapped around the wooden bucket.


View on the main burial chamber (cella) (image: CNR-ITABC)

For the first time, a visualisation is shown of the woman, buried in the Regolini-Galassi tombe.  Currently, we have limited the visualisation of the objects to the golden pectoral and the golden disc fibula, but future work will add more jewels, and the fibulae and golden leave decoration on the shroud.


View on the deceased princess (image: CNR-ITABC)

A lot of new research was done to concerning the position of the golden disc fibula.  As we could not prove from iconography that the shroud was used to cover the face, and as other research showed that such a fibula was rather placed on the abdomen, we stick in our visualisation to the second hypothesis we have proposed, in favour of placing the fibula on the face (see image below).


View on the disc fibula (image: CNR-ITABC)

A short movie, showing this first version of the VR application in action, can be found here.  The Etruscanning partners will continue to improve the VR application in its current form and develop new ways of visualisation and interaction for the next exhibition in Tongeren, Belgium at the end of 2012.

In the upcoming blogs, we will not only show the installation and the application in action, but also shown more details about the modelling and digital restoration of the objects, and about the storytelling paradigm of the VR application.

This blog is part of the Etruscanning project, that is been funded with support from the European Commission. This blog reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.



3 Responses to “First version of the interactive application”

  1. Homer Edward Price August 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    The placement of the fibula on the woman’s abdomen makes an interpretation possible based on D.H. Lawrence’s analysis of Etruscan duck symbolism. Note that the lower part of the fibula, placed over the woman’s vulva, is decorated with many rows of tiny ducks. Lawrence shows that the duck is a symbol of the male phallus, since it disappears into the water on its dives, just as the phallus disappears into the vulva in intercourse. If the central crosspieces of the fibula are covered with water symbols, the association is strengthened. Also note the appearance of a winged goddess swimming on the sides of many duck-shaped oil vessels used by the Etruscans (askos). The water seems to symbolize or contain the female essence.

    If this seems far-fetched, remember that Etruscan art and mythology is completely uncontaminated by either Christian prudery or Greek and Roman exclusion of women from male society–as well as by our modern Freudian symbolism.


  1. Successful opening of the exhibitions « Virtual reconstruction of Regolini-Galassi tomb - October 22, 2011

    […] Pierson Museum and coordinator of the Etruscanning project, which created for these exhibitions an interactive VR application to explore the Regolini-Galassi tomb through natural interaction.  The exhibition in the Allard […]

  2. The Disc Fibula revisited « Virtual reconstruction of Regolini-Galassi tomb - December 11, 2011

    […] Leiden brings together many splendid Etruscan objects from several Italian museums.  Through the Etruscanning VR application, many more objects are shown in a digital way.  One of the most splendid objects that is shown in […]

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