van Oudheden
Een foto-documentaire over 200 jaar onderzoek.
Mallen uit 
Tell Sabi Abyad
Proces van een 3D-print 
van een kleitablet

Scanning for Syria – In the Words of Curator Lucas Petit

Lucas: "In the Syrian Tell Sabi Abyad, archaeologists from the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) and Leiden University excavated hundreds of clay tablets with cuneiform texts. These are essentially short letters from a governor, comparable to a modern-day text message.
For example, there was an order for forty liters of beer for a celebration. Or the shepherds were expected to come to the governor to report on their travels, and if they didn't show up, they would receive 100 lashes. These 'notes' provide important information about daily life in the Assyrian Empire.

The clay tablets were cleaned, photographed, and molds were made of some to study the cuneiform writing. The original tablets were stored in the archaeological museum in Raqqa, but they have disappeared and may have been destroyed by the IS regime.

Since the original clay tablets no longer exist, our molds have become very valuable. However, they are fragile and will slowly deteriorate over time. That would be a great loss. Therefore, Leiden University, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Leiden Delft Erasmus Centre, and the RMO initiated the Scanning for Syria project.

Together, we developed a technique to create 3D scans and 3D prints from the molds. Initially, we scanned the molds by taking 1,400 images of one full rotation of 360 degrees. An algorithm was then used to create a single file. This may sound simple, but it is a complex system.
We now have plastic replicas that are identical to the original clay tablets. The cuneiform writing on the tablets can only be read properly if you can move the tablet with your hand. By using changing light conditions, you can discern the characters and study the texts. With Scanning for Syria, we ensure that important information is preserved, protecting cultural heritage."
Maike van Haringen 
inventariseert een 
schenking aan RMO
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