Creating a facsimile pencil drawing on tracing paper in TT 179, using separate sheets for multiple layers of information

Oct 12, 2020

In Theban Tomb 179, the painted colors are well preserved; therefore, digital photography can provide the necessary color information. However, the wall scenes are marred by numerous damaged areas, intentionally vandalized sections, and natural cracks resulting from the geological activity, making a visual representation of the overall compositions difficult. It has always been desirable to capture tomb scenes in their entirety. Still, up until now, it was impossible to present such an enormous quantity of data on a single sheet of paper without sacrificing quality and understandability.

Representing painted relief with the grayscale color-code system required two sets of copies of the same scene, one capturing the relief on clear acetate using permanent markers and another indicating the painted details on opaque matte acetate using regular pencils. Preserving the exact relationship between these two layers was critical since carved and painted outlines of the same pictorial elements rarely align. Often, additional details are added exclusively in paint.

Although the idea of including layers on top of each other was already present at this early stage, field computer technology was not advanced enough to have a useful impact on the first drawings that were made in 2011. As soon as computers became powerful enough to handle such large amounts of data, the need to create in situ copies could be eliminated.

With photogrammetry, complete montages of perspective corrected walls could be created. Smaller sections of these montages offered the same color background for both relief and paint, eliminating the possibility of misaligning the two layers. Notes, including color labels, were included within the digital drawing on a separate layer, providing extra information, and making studio work significantly easier.

This post was originally released as part of digitalEPIGRAPHY's growing Instagram collection. If you'd like to see our latest photos as soon as we post them, please follow us on Instagram.

Back to Gallery

What to see next