Imagine visiting cultural heritage sites that have been lost to the world, or are located in dangerous areas where travellers can not go. Well, a pair of archaeology graduate students are immortalising cultural heritage with Rekrei (formerly named Project Mosul). After the destruction of cultural heritage sites and items in northern Iraq, Matthew Vincent and Chance Coughenour decided to use images taken by the public to digitally reconstruct ancient sculptures, monuments and other items of cultural value.
“Beyond just destruction, we are witness to looting and black market sales of cultural heritage from Iraq, Syria and beyond. But we need not feel helpless nor passive spectators. Likewise, cultural heritage is also at risk such as the devastating results of the earthquake in Nepal has demonstrated,” the pair writes on the website. The pair use photogrammetry software to digitally reconstruct heritage from photographs. Rekrei, coincidentally, is a word from the constructed language Esperanto, meaning recreate.
Arguably one of the best parts of Rekrei, is anyone can contribute. The team currently require assistance with the following:
- Locating at risk and destroyed cultural heritage sites;
- The public to share images of sites or artefacts that no longer exist;
- Volunteers to sort through images; and
- Help with 3D modelling.
Check out the 3D model below of a reconstructed entrance to Nimrud Palace. The palace was originally built by he Assyrian King Assurnassirpal II between 883 and 859 B.C. Large parts of the city were destroyed by the Islamic State during 2015, after they took control of large parts of Iraq.
If you want to volunteer your time, skills or photographs, or just read more about the project and see more of the reconstructed videos, click here to visit the website.
Image and model credit: Rekrei