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We are a group of three students of the TU Delft that are part of a project called Scanning for Syria. In this project we are asked to optimize the digitization process of clay tablets found in Syria. Since most of the tablets got lost in the Syrian civil war, it is of great importance that the silicon moulds that are left, will be reproduced out of a material with a longer life-expectancy. To do this, we are asked to find the best way possible to scan the moulds.


Overview of some of the silicone moulds of the lost tablets


First we will try to improve aspects of the scans of the moulds. The aim is to improve both quality and processing-time and besides this try to make the scanning file as small as possible. The problem now is that an Artec Spider scan results in models that have low relief and shadow effects, which makes the writings hard to translate. An X-ray micro-CT scan results in a model of better quality but takes much more time and the files are very big. Our aim is to find a way of scanning the moulds of good quality in the smallest processing-time as possible. We are going to try to optimize the Artec Spider scan-results by testing. Options are to scan a mould of a different colour than white, or to try a different resolution. Other options could be possible and have to be investigated. If the scan-results are not optimized as wanted with the use of the Artec Spider scan, other scan-methods can be considered.


The second part of the project is a small exhibition in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden (see website: The main aim is to realize a successful, interactive and informative exhibition. When the scans are optimized we can determine how the 3D printed models will look. Is the colour still blue? or more like the original sand colour? After that we will gather knowledge about the ways to create an informative and interactive exhibition. How can you make people go to this exhibition? How do you display the moulds of Assyrian clay tablets in a way that it is exciting to look at and also is informative? What can you do, design or create to make it interactive? Then we will design a setup for this exhibition and eventually realize the exhibition in a smaller scale for the exhibit at IO.


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