BLANC - Blanc

Etude des principaux édifices construits sous le règne d'Akhenaton – ATON 3D

Submission summary

The reign of the pharaoh Akhenaton is one of the most original in pharaonic history for the deep modifications it brings in Egyptian religion as much as for the artistic and architectural innovations it introduces. If the Amarnian reform has been widely commented, the architectural aspect of the reign has only been briefly studied or in a selective manner. The recent developments of the computer tools, Internet and 3D modelling alike, allow to lay the foundations of a wide-ranging international research on the architectural amarnian programme and to analyse the structuring role it played in the setting up of the new government. The documentary data on buildings built under the reign of Akhenaton are very numerous and sometimes remarkable. For instance, the city of Amarna, although dismantled stone by stone at the end of the reign, reveals a very coherent documentation since, on one hand, we have the plan of the city on the ground ('the archaeological trace' has not been spoilt by any installation) and on the other hand, there are also ancient numerous views of various areas of the city, engraved on the walls of the tombs. This material is greatly relevant since these '2D visualizations' of the city have been drawn by contemporary artists. Thanks to previous works on other ancient buildings, we could show that the analysis of ancient drawings brings very appropriate information often allowing very precise restitutions of extinct buildings. However, this 'iconic' piece of information finds its full meaning when confronted with traditional archaeological documentation. The starting point of this research is therefore the development of documentatio, (archaeological, epigraphic and iconographic on Akhenaton' buildings). The purpose is a 3D restitution of the buildings and the architectural programme as a whole. 2/Description of the project, methodology The project will be done in four stages: a/ documentation. At first we shall constitute an epigraphic corpus with inscriptions mentioning names or attesting the existence of buildings constructed during his reign. A second corpus will be developed from archaeological data such as architectural blocks, fragments of walls (talatat) and plans of vestiges on the ground. A third corpus will be elaborated from the paintings of buildings, found mainly on the walls of the tombs of Amarna, but also on the restored talatat, or insulated decorations. b/ Nomenclature and 3D modelling Researches and analyses on these different corpus lead to work out 3D models of the buildings of the reign. We shall begin with the analysis of the more documented buildings then we'll try to restore the less ones. A 3D nomenclature will be defined for each building so that every element of a corpus can be linked with any element of the other corpus, simply referred to 3D models. In the case of the city of Amarna, the nomenclature will be developed from the publication of the plan of the city [B. J. Kemp, S. Garfi (1993)] . The first 3D models are level V1 (PFT3D, Ausonius) see infra description. Then they will be developed into V2 version, used as visual aids for seminars: each restitution will be discussed in turn. Between every seminar, working sessions will be necessary to achieve the authentication on architectural details (scientific validation). c/ Authentication of 3D restorations. Several seminars will be organized as part of this programme in order to upgrade the models of V2 version into V3 version (validated model). During this phase, a consistent use of the documentation by every member of his team will reveal possible mistakes or omissions and will allow rectifications. The last seminars for the authentication of 3D models in V3 version concern the characterization of materials and the implementation, when it is possible of the decorative programme of the restored monument. d/ Organization of the 3D models as results. The restored buildings compose a groups of 3D models. They will be on line, too, so that every participant can collaborate at best on the collective will to validate the lost sites. The last seminar will be a work of synthesis. Expected results: - Make documentation and 3D models available to the scientific community via internet. - Publishing of a synthesis of the work on the architectural programme of the reign of Akhenaton. - International symposium on Akhenaton's architectural policy. - Opening to the public the 3D models (via interface Google Earth or equivalent). - Opening to the public the archaeological data (accessibility by requests from the 3D corpus).

Project coordination

Robert VERGNIEUX (Organisme de recherche)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 190,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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