Vol. XI, No. 1

Spring, 1998

Building a Computer Model of the Propylaea

Dr. Tasos Tanoulas, who directs the current examination and restoration work on the Propylaea in Athens (for the Committee for the Preservation of the Acropolis Monuments); Mary Ioannidou, an engineer working with Mr. Tanoulas on the Propylaea; and CSA Director Harrison Eiteljorg, II, are beginning a project to create an AutoCAD® model of the in-situ remains of the Propylaea and, ultimately, of the building as it appeared in antiquity. Mr. Tanoulas and Mr. Eiteljorg have been making preliminary plans for some time, and Ms. Ioannidou has also been eagerly preparing to begin this work.

Ms. Ioannidou will be in charge of the CAD work in Athens, using the drawings and records created by Mr. Tanoulas in the course of his work - a portion of them now available in his recently published two-volume work, The Propylaea of the Athenian Acropolis During the Middle Ages (Athens, 1997). Of course, Ms. Ioannidou will also have access to the monument itself to check or obtain new data.

Ms. Ioannidou will work with a copy of AutoCAD R14 that is being donated by Autodesk®, Inc. She will also take an AutoCAD training course in Athens.

CSA will provide a computer for Ms. Ioannidou and will also provide funding for the first phase of the project. In addition, Mr. Eiteljorg will assist Ms. Ioannidou in learning how to apply AutoCAD to the task at hand, since training courses are usually intended to teach people to design new things rather than to model existing ones.

The first phase of the project involves training and preliminary work only. Once the parameters of the work have been defined and the preparations made, the second phase will begin. The second phase will be the actual modeling of the in-situ remains. The third and final phase will be the restoration of the Propylaea in the computer.

This project is not only a superb opportunity to work on an extremely important monument from antiquity, it is also a natural one for Mr. Eiteljorg, since his model of the predecessor of the Propylaea already exists. When complete, the Propylaea model may be used with the older propylon model to show the successive entrances to the Acropolis for any moment in time from the Bronze Age through the Middle Ages.

Mr. Eiteljorg will be in Athens in early June, and work on Phase One will begin then.

The assistance of Autodesk, Inc. in this project - providing a copy of AutoCAD R14 - is greatly appreciated.

For other Newsletter articles concerning the applications of CAD in archaeology and architectural history or CSA projects, consult the Subject index.

Next Article: Digital Data As Publication- Are We Ready?

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