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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 19 (2015), No. 2, 301--316
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2015



Computer Graphic Modeling for the Reconstruction of the Roman Colosseum

Adrian H. Tan
Dept. of Civil Engineering, Ohio State University, 2070 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, U.S.A.
tan.191@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Frank M. Croft Jr.
Dept. of Civil Engineering, Ohio State University, 2070 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, U.S.A.

Fabian H. Tan
Dept. of Civil Engineering, Ohio State University, 2070 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, U.S.A.



This research focuses on a digital step-by-step recreation of the construction process of the Colosseum, the famous ancient Roman amphitheater, demonstrating that the process of retracing the construction of such a large and complex monument presents a variety of challenges. Computer-generated imagery, or CGI, has been used to recreate ancient structures based on literature and archaeological evidence, focusing primarily on completed structures during their period of use. Given enough data, computer graphics can serve as a tool in simulating the construction of ancient monuments as well, though this approach warrants a balance between optimization and accuracy. Provided with extensive literary research and on-site analysis, the simulation discussed uses general-purpose engineering graphics software which provides an ideal balance of user-friendliness and complexity handling. The creation of the model, using the functionality of the software in question, reveals significant potential as an educational tool for understanding the enigmatic construction processes of the Colosseum, as a training tool for the construction operations of ancient edifices, and as an investigative tool for renovating such structures. Still, setbacks such as complexity spikes and erroneous feature mapping, owing to the dissonance between the computation capabilities of the hardware, the functionality of the software, and the data values provided need to be overcome.

Keywords: Computer graphics, digital modeling, computer aided design, architecture, archaeology, Colosseum.

MSC: 68U07; 00A67, 51N05

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