By combining traditional archaeology with 3D technology, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have reconstructed a house in Pompeii to its original state before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius many centuries ago.
Unique video material has now been produced, showing their creation of a 3D model of an entire block of houses.
“By combining new technology with more traditional methods, we can describe Pompeii in greater detail and more accurately than was previously possible,” said Nicoló Dell’Unto, digital archaeologist at Lund University.
Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried in ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
After the catastrophic earthquake in Italy in 1980, the Pompeii city curator invited the international research community to help document the ruined city.
The Swedish Pompeii Project was started at the Swedish Institute in Rome in 2000.
The project also included a new branch of advanced digital archaeology, with 3D models demonstrating the completed photo documentation.
Among other things, the researchers uncovered floor surfaces from AD 79, performed detailed studies of the building development through history, cleaned and documented three large wealthy estates, a tavern, a laundry, a bakery and several gardens.
In one garden, they discovered that some of the taps to a stunning fountain were on at the time of eruption — the water was still gushing when the rain of ash and pumice fell over Pompeii.
By studying the water and sewer systems, they were able to interpret the social hierarchies at the time, and see how retailers and restaurants were dependent on large wealthy families for water and how the conditions improved towards the end, before the eruption.
An aqueduct was built in Pompeii, enabling residents to no longer having to rely on a few deep wells or the tanks of collected rainwater in large wealthy households.