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
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.
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.
Corresponding author: Ellen Swift
Division of Humanities, University of Kent
Co-author: Lloyd Bosworth
University of Kent
University of Kent
University of Kent
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 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 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 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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