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Creation of Functional Replica Roman and Late Antique Musical Instruments through 3D Scanning and Printing Technology, and their use in research and museum educationOpen Data

Ellen Swift and Lloyd Bosworth, with David Creese, George Morris, April Pudsey, Justin Richardson, Jo Stoner, Frank Walker, and Georgia Wright

Cite this as: Swift, E. and Bosworth, L. with Creese, D., Morris, G., Pudsey, A., Richardson, J., Stoner, J., Walker, F and Wright, G. 2021 Creation of Functional Replica Roman and Late Antique Musical Instruments through 3D Scanning and Printing Technology, and their use in research and museum education, Internet Archaeology 56. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.56.1

Summary

Replica artefacts are a well-established feature of Roman archaeology, particularly as used in experimental archaeology, by re-enactors, and in museum education. 3D scanning offers a new methodology for the accurate production of such artefacts, which can then be used both in scholarly research and in public engagement activities. This article describes methodologies for 3D scanning and 3D printing, together with appropriate craft techniques, in the creation of replica musical instruments from the collection of UCL's Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London.

Replica of bell on bracelet (UC58536). Image credit: Lloyd Bosworth
Replica of bell on bracelet (UC58536). Image credit: Lloyd Bosworth

While there were some challenges in replica creation, discussed in further detail, 'functional replicas' were successfully made, that, we argue, replicate sufficiently accurately those features of the objects under investigation from a research perspective. These were the decibel levels (sound power levels), and, for some objects, frequency (pitch) ranges produced, and the variety of sounds that they could produce. This evidence makes an important contribution to our understanding of the contexts of use of the original instruments. Sound recordings virtually modelled in a likely use location, the courtyard of a typical house from Roman-period Egypt, were also produced and assist in our conceptualisation of the wider acoustic environment. Sound recordings and replicas were additionally used for public engagement purposes in a temporary exhibition at the Petrie Museum, and their contribution to museum education is assessed. 3D scanning and printing technology are demonstrated to be valuable techniques for the production of accurate replicas, which can be used successfully to contribute to scholarly research and museum education in new ways. Appendices include .stl files that may be downloaded and 3D printed, to make copies of the replicas for use in new research and education projects.

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  • Related digital archive: Swift, E. et al. Roman and Late Antique Artefacts from Egypt: Understanding Society and Culture [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1078326
  • Keywords: artefacts, experimental archaeology, Egypt, music, 3D models, archaeoacoustics
  • Accepted: 12 November 2019. Published: 11 January 2021
  • Funding: This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council grant AH/P008704/1.
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Corresponding author: Ellen SwiftORCID logo
E.V.Swift@kent.ac.uk
Division of Humanities, University of Kent

Co-author: Lloyd Bosworth
University of Kent

David Creese
Newcastle University

George Morris
University of Kent

April PudseyORCID logo
Manchester Metropolitan University

Justin Richardson

Jo StonerORCID logo
University of Kent

Frank Walker
University of Kent

Georgia Wright

Full text

Figure 1: Lloyd Bosworth scanning panpipes UC33270 at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. © Ellen Swift

Figure 2: Comparison between Romer laser scan data (left) and Metashape photogrammetry data (right). The model derived from photogrammetry data shows good dimensional accuracy and yet has very poor detail reproduction. The ribbed effect to the surface on the right hand side, for instance, is not present on the original. © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 3: Bird rattle original, UC34972, and 3b, replica. Photo 3a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 3b © Lloyd Bosworth.

Figure 4: Nut-shaped rattle original, UC71557, and 4b, replica. Photo 4a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 4b © Lloyd Bosworth.

Figure 5: Pointed rattle original, UC65087, and 5b, replica. Photo 5a Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 4b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 6: Cymbal original, UC33269b, photo Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL

Figure 7: Panpipes original, UC33270, front view, and 7b, back view showing extant lengths of tubes. Photo 7a, Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth. Photo 7b, photo Mary Hinkley. Both courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL

Figure 8: 3D print of UC33270 panpipes in PLA, and 8b bamboo panpipes replica with waxed thread, photos © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 9: Double pipes original, UC59260, and 9b, replica. Photo 9a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 9b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 10: Cymbal original, UC35797, and 10b, replica. Photo 10a Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth, photo 10b Mary Hinkley, both courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL

Figure 11: Bell on bracelet original, UC58536, and 11b, replica. Photo 11a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 11b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 12: Bes bell original, UC8976, and 12b, replica. Photo 12a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 12b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 13: Rumbler bell original, UC30389, and 13b, replica. Photo 13a Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 13b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 14: Bell original, UC35794, and 14b, replica. Photo 14a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 14b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 15: Bell original, UC33261 and 15b, replica. Photo 15a Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 15b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 16: Cymbals original, UC35798, and 16b, replica. Photo 16a Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 16b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 17: Cymbals mounted on original handles (crotals) British Museum acc. no. EA 26260, © The Trustees of the British Museum. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Figure 18: Detail of the Mariamin mosaic, Hama Museum, Syria, © Agefotostock

Figure 19: Interior view of UC58538 showing how the clapper would strike the edge of the bell. Photo Ellen Swift edited by Lloyd Bosworth, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL

Figure 20: Spectrogram (frequency graph) produced by replica of UC35797, finger-cymbals, using app SpectrumView 2.2 © Ellen Swift

Figure 21: Spectrogram (frequency graph) produced by replica of UC33261, bell with multiple rings, using app SpectrumView 2.2 © Ellen Swift

Figure 22: Clappers original, UC59603 and UC59609, and 22b, replica. Photo 22a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 22b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 23: Clappers original, UC71305a–b, and 23b, replica. Photo 23a Mary Hinkley, courtesy of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. Photo 23b © Lloyd Bosworth

Figure 24: Spectrogram (frequency graph) produced by 3D printed photopolymer replica of UC33270, panpipes (with c. 3mm layer of wax applied to the ends of the tubes) using app SpectrumView 2.2. © Ellen Swift

Figure 25: Courtyard house at Tebtynis used for modelling of virtual acoustics, by Lloyd Bosworth, after Hadji-Minaglou 2007, fig. 56, House 3200-III.

Figure 26: Age range of Petrie Museum Questionnaire respondents, 'Sounds of Roman Egypt' Questionnaire, © Ellen Swift

Figure 27: Petrie Museum 'Sounds of Roman Egypt' Questionnaire, responses to question 'What did you like best?', © Ellen Swift

Table 1: Metal objects

Table 2: Ceramic objects

Table 3: Clay compositions

Table 4: Objects made from organic materials

Table 5: Frequency data for photopolymer replica of UC33270, panpipes (with c. 3mm layer of wax applied to the ends of the tubes)

Table 6: Qualitative feedback on the 'Sounds of Roman Egypt' exhibition: sensory experience

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