January 25, 2021

Destroyed Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria Digitally Reconstructed by the UC San Diego Library’s Digital Media Lab (DML)

From the UC San Diego Library:

Five years after its destruction, the ancient Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria has been digitally reconstructed by the UC San Diego Library’s Digital Media Lab (DML) using cutting-edge 3D methods and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Inspired by a past collaboration between the Library and UC San Diego’s Levantine Archaeology Laboratory, this project has resulted in the digital preservation of more than a dozen lost reliefs, sculptures, frescos and paintings, all made publicly available on the Library’s Digital Collections website.

Destroyed in 2015 during the Syrian civil war, the Temple of Bel has been called the most important temple in the entire Middle East (along with Lebanon’s Baalbek) and served as one of the best-preserved examples of ancient art and architecture, attracting more than 150,000 tourists annually. Through the use of more than 3,000 publicly available digital photographs taken over the course of a decade, the Library has successfully recreated the structure using Pointcloud, an online viewing platform.

To view the UC San Diego Library’s digital recreation of the Temple of Bel, please visit http://lib.ucsd.edu/templeofbel. The web viewer is currently supported by desktop versions of Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge—virtual reality is supported through Firefox WebVR.

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Direct to Digital recreation of the Temple of Bel

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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