3D Modeling Building 1369

An update from Parker Zane, undergraduate concentrator in Archaeology and the Ancient World

This summer, Zach Dunseth and I produced a 3D photogrammetric model of the foundations of Building 1369, commonly referred to as one of two ‘Assyrian’ Palaces at the site of Megiddo (modern Israel). Originally, this International Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA) project aimed at producing a 3D model using data collected during the planned summer 2020 field season. However, since we were unable to conduct fieldwork, we had to adjust our plans to fit in a virtual context. Instead, this project relied on legacy aerial drone data collected by Matthew J. Adams during the 2018 excavations.

Aerial photo of Megiddo (Abraham Graicer 2011, Wikimedia Commons)

The aim of this project was to produce a model and to contextualize the architectural style of the Building 1369 within its broader Near Eastern context. We utilized Agisoft Metashape to compile 134 aerial photographs to produce a sub-centimeter-accurate georeferenced 3D photogrammetric model. This model will soon be distributed for free on Sketchfab (https://sketchfab.com/jvrp/collections/megiddo). The next step of the project will be to import the model into SketchUp to produce an artistic reconstruction of the structure, informed by comparative evidence from other large palatial structures in the Levant and in Assyria.

Working image of 3D model in Agisoft Metashape (Z. Dunseth)

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn how to produce 3D photogrammetric models and the chance to study one aspect of Megiddo in great detail. I would like to thank the Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award for support to conduct research this summer; the directors of the Megiddo Expedition, Israel Finkelstein (Tel Aviv University), Mario A.S. Martin (Tel Aviv University) and especially Matthew J. Adams (W.F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, Jerusalem) for allowing me to use his previously collected data; and Zachary Dunseth for his guidance and mentorship over the course of this project.