Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Torre dei Sicconi - Chapter 3 - GPS

The third chapter of our video, talking about historical and archaeological research and virtual reconstruction of a medieval calstle.
This time we are surveying the castle hill by our DGPS system.

Torre dei Sicconi - Caldonazzo - Monte Rive: Chapter 3 -GPS

Monday, 19 September 2016

Torre dei Sicconi - Chapter 2 - On the way to new discoveries

The second chapter of our video, talking about historical and archaeological research and virtual reconstruction of a medieval calstle.

This time we are locating the site and finally going to work.


Torre dei Sicconi - Caldonazzo - Monte Rive: Chapter 2 - On the way to new discoveries

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Torre dei Sicconi - Chapter 1 - A long time ago...

The Castle of Torre dei Sicconi (Tower of the Sicconi clan) was destroyed by troops from Verona and Vicenza in 1385.

For that reason we don't know how the building looked like in the Middle Ages.

One way to learn more about the original shape of the complex is reading historical sources which are speaking about the Torre dei Sicconi castle and it's single parts.

Some of them we would like to present in the first chapter of our film:

A long time ago...

Watch also the trailer of 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Torre dei Sicconi - The Trailer

The Castle of Torre dei Sicconi (Tower of the Sicconi clan) is situated on the foothills south of the village of Caldonazzo. It was founded in 1201. 
The castle was destroyed by troops from Verona and Vicenza in 1385. 
The Cultural Heritage Department of Trento (office of archaeological heritage) has conducted excavations and restoration works between 2006 and 2008. 
That data was used for a virtual reconstruction of how the castle may have looked like 600 years ago.
During the next weeks we will publish nine chapters of a movie we've made, explaining the long way from archaeological excavation to virtual reconstruction:

Torre dei Sicconi - Caldonazzo - Monte Rive - 
The rebirth of a lost castle.

We start today with an appetizer: The 90 seconds long trailer of the project.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

rpostgis and RQGIS: two useful statistical tools for archaeologists

Hi all.
Just a short post to spread the announcement of the recent release of two R packages: rpostgis (see also here) and RQGIS (see also here and here). The first facilitates transfer between PostGIS "Geometry" objects (stored in PostgreSQL databases) and R spatial objects; the latter establishes an interface between R and QGIS and allows the user to access the many QGIS geoalgorithms from within R.
I tested them briefly and I think they are very useful tools to perform and simplify statistical and geo-statistical analyses in archaeological contexts. Here I present a quick example of usage. 
Firstly I imported a set of archaeological site-points stored in a PostgreSQL/PostGIS database. That is very simple with rpostgis package: it's enough to create a database connection (like in RpostgreSQL package) and launch the "pgGetGeom" function.

Then I used RQGIS package to run (within R) the QGIS geoalgorithm that builds a polygon from layer extent. After setting the same parameters required by QGIS, the function "run_qgis" creates a red polygon around the outermost points of my dataset.

Actually, must be careful to the version of QGIS we are using. With 2.14 there's no problem, but if you're using 2.16.1 or 2.16.2 (like me) you must modify the QGIS file "AlgorithmExecutor.py" (path for linux users should be: "/usr/share/qgis/python/plugins/processing/AlgorithmExecutor.py") as described in the web page. In the next future this problem should be correct by QGIS core team.
At the end I performed a specific point pattern analysis with the data imported and created by our two packages: in this example I calculated the Ripley's K function (for an archaeological example see here) in order to identify the distribution model (random, regular or clustered) of my archaeological sites.

In my opinion these two new R packages make easier and faster the traditional spatial analyses in R and facilitate a more virtuous integration between GIS, geo-database and statistics.

Denis Francisci

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Mandrone WW1 Project - the Trailer

We have recorded hours of movies during our diving project in the Mandrone lake.
Later this year we will publish a video illustrating us while we are working over and under the water surface.
In the meantime we want to whet your appetite with just a few pictures...

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Mandrone WW1 Project

On August 25th and 26th 2016 a team of divers and archaeologists has explored the bottom of lake Mandrone (2.409 m.a.s.l.), Adamello Alps/Italy. Under the direction of prof. Tiziano Camagna, the team has localized and documented the wrack of a boat build there during World War I.

Team-leader Tiziano Camagna was supported by the archaeologists of Arc-Team Ltd. (Cles/Sexten – Italy), Alessandro Bezzi, Luca Bezzi and Rupert Gietl. Massimiliano Canossa and Nicola Bonisegna, underwater-experts from NauticaMare DiveTeam, have realized high-resolution videos and photos.

The main target of the mission was the localization and documentation of the wooden remain on the ground of lake Mandrone. The boat was build between 1916 and 1918 and sank some years after the end of WW1. Pictures and videos taken by the divers will now be processed by the archaeologists in order to extract a detailed 3D model using Computer Vision technologies like SfM (Structure from Motion) and MVS ( Multiple View Stereovision).

Tiziano Camagna first localized the remain in 2004, comparing it with two historical photos published by Luca Viazzi in the volume "I diavoli dell'Adamello - 1915 -1918 La guerra a quota tremila". The first shot is showing Italian mountain troops (Alpini) building a boat near the “Julius Payer” refuge, situated about 800m northeast from lake Mandrone. The second Capt. Castelli rowing on the lake.

The Adamello Alps have been one of the highest war theaters of WW1. In the area around lake Mandrone and the refuge “Città di Trento” we can still find lots of archaeological remains of that period: Trenches, barracks, observation positions and a small military cemetery.

Austro-Hungarian and Italian troops had not only to fight against each other, but primarily against the harsh climate on altitudes up to 3.900 m.a.s.l., 10-12 meters of snow in the winter and temperatures right down to -30°C (-10°F).

Thanks to the support of the wildlife park “Adamello-Brenta” and the Gallazzinis, tenants of the refuge “Città di Trento”, the equipment of our expedition was transported on site with the goods cable lift of the refuge. The team went up by foot, walking about three hours starting at the head of “Genova” valley. On the last stage, from the refuge to the lake, the gear was carried on the back.
In order to facilitate the transport, divers choose light equipment like the sidemount system.
During the dive our photographer Nicola Boninsegna localized a wooden trunk on the ground, a discovery that gives rise to some new research questions, considering the total absence of trees on that altitudes. 

The find will be analyzed soon, in order to get dating and identification of the species.

This mission was also an opportunity for a high altitude test of our ROV prototype (Remotely Operated Vehicle), named ArcheoROV developed by WitLab laboratories from Rovereto, in collaboration with Arc-Team.

Last but not least the team wants to thank the Department for Cultural Heritage of Trento (Office of Archaeological Heritage) for close cooperation.
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