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Analyzing and Simulating Fracture Patterns of Theran Wall Paintings
Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, October 2012

Hijung Shin, Christos Doumas, Thomas Funkhouser,
Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Kenneth Steiglitz, Andreas Vlachopoulos,
Tim Weyrich


Abstract

In this article, we analyze the fracture patterns observed in wall paintings excavated at Akrotiri, a Bronze Age Aegean settlement destroyed by a volcano on the Greek island of Thera around 1630 BC. We use interactive programs to trace detailed fragment boundaries in images of manually reconstructed wall paintings. Then, we use geometric analysis algorithms to study the shapes and contacts of those fragment boundaries, producing statistical distributions of lengths, angles, areas, and adjacencies found in assembled paintings. The result is a statistical model that suggests a hierarchical fracture pattern where fragments break into two pieces recursively along cracks nearly orthogonal to previous ones. This model is tested by comparing it with simulation results of a hierarchical fracture process. The model could be useful for predicting fracture patterns of other wall paintings and/or for guiding future computer-assisted reconstruction algorithms.

Citation (BibTeX)

Hijung Shin, Christos Doumas, Thomas Funkhouser, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Kenneth Steiglitz, Andreas Vlachopoulos, and Tim Weyrich. Analyzing and Simulating Fracture Patterns of Theran Wall Paintings. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage 5(3), October 2012.

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Links
  This issue of JOCCH in the ACM Digital Library