A new project: the restoration of the stone decoration of Cim basilica

Dear all,

a long time has passed since my last post! I’ve been working on a project that does not focus on digital restoration but on storytelling and communication. As the work is still in progress, I will talk about it another time. Today I would like to introduce you to the new project I am working on.

In the frame of the V-Must European project, a natural interaction interface for manipulating objects is being developed. It is based upon a Kinect camera driving a Unity3D application that allows to explore a virtual space, select the objects virtually shown and manipulate them. The content of the testbed is the early Christian basilica of Cim, near Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Vth – VIth centuries).

The archaeological site of Cim, Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Remains of the basilica.

The archaeological site of Cim, Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Remains of the basilica.

The remains of the basilica, that have been excavated  from 1966 to 1969, represent a very good example of the first Christian architecture, in an area that  was one of the firsts of the Roman Empire to become Christian.

The remains clearly show the evolution of the building. The original early Christian basilica was destroyed for unknown reasons in an uncertain moment of the past, then a second building was rebuilt on its remains. The second church had the same structure of the previous one, but some new parts were added. Our project focuses on the reconstruction of the early basilica.

The plan of Cim basilica (drawing from ANĐELIĆ 1974)

The plan of Cim basilica (drawing from ANĐELIĆ 1974)

The basilica was a single nave building and has a choir formed of three abses. At the entrance was a narthex, a vestibule where women and penitents were admitted. On the left side of the narthex, a door leaded to the baptistery, where the baptismal font was.

On the right side of the basilica was a smaller church, probably a memorial, which resemble the basilica in its plan.

During the excavation several fragments of the engraved decoration of the two buildings had been found. This material is now partially kept at the National Museum of Herzegovina in Sarajevo and partially at the Museum of Herzegovina in Mostar.

The digital reconstruction of the building and its inside structure is being carried out by a team of the ETF, University of Sarajevo. My task in this project is the digital restoration of some of the most valuable fragments of the stone decoration of the building.

Bibliography:

– ANĐELIĆ 1974, Kasnoantička bazilika u Cimu kod Mostara, Glasnik Zemaljskog Muzeja (GZM), 1974.

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