PRESERVATION \ 76
1: G. Buccellati, July 2009

RECONSTRUCTION

Introduction
Types of archaeological reconstruction
Monitoring through reconstruction

Introduction

     
     We are all familiar with reproductions of objects, made from a mold derived from the original; or as a (more or less faithful) imitation of the same; or again through a CAM process. We are also familiar with architectural maquettes that reproduce, to scale, buildings and structures.
     Virtual reality also reproduces an object or a building, with the possibility of providing an unlimited amount of detail that can be seen in relationship to every other detail that had been recorded.
     These are all different ways of re-constructing something that is no longer there, re-making it in ways that imitate the original shapes and materials. Even a perspective drawing renders three-dimensionality on a flat plane: there is a single point of view from which the perception of the "thing" is proposed. With the re-constructive techniques, instead, our perception embraces the object from any desirable point of view.
     It remains, of course, a reproduction, not the original. Dealing with a copy may entail a lack of details that only the authenticity of the original can guarantee. On the other hand, some reproductions can offer easier access to the details that are otherwise not immediately apparent in the original. [CITE VERONESI EXHIBIT IN VENICE.]
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Types of archaeological reconstruction

     In the case of architecture at archaeological sites, the reconstruction of buildings offers the opportunity to gain a better sense of the volumes and the circulation, something that is less apparent when portions of the walls have disappeared completely or only their foundations are extant.
     Yet another case of architectural reconstruction is the total rebuilding of a structure from the ground up, and possibly not even in its original emplacement. An interesting example of this is the Medieval Castle of Guédelon in France: this is not in fact a re-construction, because it does not replecate a formerly existing castle. It is rather a model that uses the standard structural units of castles of fourteenth (CHECK) century France, and in this respect it is an imaginary castle. However, the great accuracy with which the proper architectural modules are used, and the punctiliousness with which the building procedures are duplicated, make it an excellent model of its kind.
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Monitoring through reconstruction

     see Agnew and Demas 2004