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Breuckmann smartSCAN Helps Solve an Antique 3D Statue Puzzle

Published: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 11:27

(Breuckmann: Meersburg, Germany) -- About 150 years ago, archaeologists in Cambodia made a spectacular discovery: the temple ruins of Angkor Wat. The temple was built during the 12th century by the ancient people of the Khmer under the reign of King Suryavarman II, but was deserted by its inhabitants at the beginning of the 15th century. Since 1992, this biggest temple complex in the world has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

The role and function of the temple complex has been a mystery for researchers and scientists alike for a long time. In cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at the University of Heidelberg, French archaeologists have now solved this historical mystery. Having captured and reconstructed different chapels and statues of the temple complex by means of 3D digitization and measurement technology, they were able to conclude that the temples were built to serve as burial sites for the king and his subjects.

The precise scan data generated by the Breuckmann smartSCAN made it possible to piece together this antique 3D puzzle. The research team created a virtual reconstruction of a central group of temple statues by assembling a multitude of 3D scans captured with the smartSCAN white-light scanner. The digitization of the individual finds was carried out in the Guimet museum in Paris, in the National Museum in Phnom Penh, as well as inside the temples at Angkor Wat, and subsequently pieced together on computers. For the first time it is now possible to view a larger-than-life, nearly complete Shiwa statue in one group with four other statues, and view the way that they were used for religious rituals dedicated to the king.

The German-French TV channel ARTE accompanied the scientists, and their interesting documentary: Discovering Angkor tells the story of the “lost city” of Angkor in Cambodia, and also describes the scientists who put their heart and soul into solving this ancient mystery.

3D data of the divinity Lokeshvara (Banteay Chhmar)


About The Author

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AICON 3D Systems develops, manufactures, and distributes optical camera-based 3-D measurement systems for inspection, testing, and process control. Its clients are automotive manufacturers and suppliers, companies from the aerospace, shipbuilding, and renewable energies sectors.

Breuckmann GmbH manufactures optical systems for contact-free measurement, digitization, and inspection in 3D. Its 3-D digitization and measuring systems are based on a patented fringe projection technique for extremely fast and high detail adherence for complex surface geometries. Applications are in technical-industrial fields, for human body measurements, and in arts and culture.

AICON and Breuckmann merged in August 2012.