documentation, septemvri, bulgaria, museum, conservation

Project type/s: Documentation of artifacts and а field school

Project duration: 2015 – present

Location: Archaeological Museum “M. Domaradzki”, Septemvri, Bulgaria

The cultural heritage monuments: Epigraphic monuments and small artifacts

Periods: Late Classical, Hellenistic (5th – 3rd century BCE).

Project Director: Dr Angela Pencheva, Program Director, Balkan Heritage Foundation

BHF contribution: RTI documentation of 70 Late Classic and Hellenistic monuments, including the Pistiros Inscription. Involvement of 7 team members and visiting specialists and more than 80 volunteers – students.

BHF project partners: Archaeological Museum “Prof. Mieczyslaw Domaradzki”, Septemvri, Bulgaria; University of Exeter, UK; Queen’s University, Canada.

Description: The goal of this project is the systematic RTI documentation of small finds, part of the collection of Archaeological Museum “Prof. Mieczyslaw Domaradzki” in Septemvri, Bulgaria.
RTI is a computational photographic method that captures a subject’s surface shape and color and enables the interactive re-lighting of the subject from any direction. RTI also permits the mathematical enhancement of the subject’s surface shape and color attributes. The enhancement functions of RTI reveal surface information that is not disclosed under direct empirical examination of the physical object. It can be extremely helpful for identifying unclear images or letters, sometimes even invisible to the naked eye.

The project was initiated by Dr. Angela Pencheva, BHF Program Director, with involvement of Assoc. Prof. Dr George Bevan, Department of Classics at Queen’s University, Canada (2015-2016), Dr Jacqueline Christmas and Dr Judith Bannerman – College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, UK (2016 – present).

The RTI workshops are part of the Balkan Heritage field school at the archaeological site of Pistiros, Bulgaria. The focus of the project were mainly small finds with graffiti, like pottery and amphora shards, amphora stamps, loom weights with stamps and coins, most of them from the archaeological site Emporion Pistiros. The so called “Pistiros Inscription” – an important epigraphic monument which made possible the identification of the ancient site as Pistiros – was also captured. As a result, the site’s epigraphist Dr. Lydia Domaradzka, Sofia University, was able to recognize several unclear letters. The final goal of the project is to capture, analyze and publish major parts of the epigraphic monuments from the collection of the museum.