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Technology bringing history back to life

09-08-2010 08:36 BJT

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The latest technology is helping to bring the past back to life. Electronic chips, 3-D laser scans and a giant crane are some of the tools helping Israeli archaeologists re-build a 6th century synagogue with great accuracy.

The ancient stones and ornate column heads at the Umm al-Kanatir archaeological site are less archaic than they seem.

Embedded in each dusty relic is a tiny electronic chip that gives excavators details about the stone, allowing them to restore this 6th century synagogue with what they say is utmost precision.

Yehoshua Dray, who manages the project in the northern Golan Heights region, has been working on the site with his team since 2003.

Yehoshua Dray, Restoration Project Manager, said, "We documented the first layer with a 3-D laser scanning machine, we planted chips and we numbered the stones and the program. We finished numbering, the crane takes all this stuff outside the ruin."

All this data was compiled into a computer programme, each rock was numbered, and chips were laid into the stones.

The stone's details then show up on a computer so archaeologists can figure out where each stone once was and where it belongs in the rebuilt structure.

Ilana Gonen, an archaeologist who works with Dray on the site, says the greatest benefit of technology is the interest it provokes among visitors.

Ilana Gonen, Archaeologist, said, "They arrive here, first of all they see the structure, how it was built, the crane and the story of the process, the use of contemporary technology - laser rays, electronic chip - immediately catches their attention."

The structure is believed to have collapsed during an 8th century earthquake. It has been left largely untouched since it collapsed.

Beyond creatively using modern technologies, the project has revived a forgotten place of worship.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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