PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL RECONSTRUCTION FOR AN INTEGRATED ARCHAEOLOGICAL MODEL: 3D PRINT AND MAQUETTE
Museums perform various tasks such as collecting, cataloguing and preserving the cultural heritage (CH). In addition, they have an institutional task, which is to disseminate the heritage, discovering the most efficient tools to tell how a monument to the origin could have looked. In this process of knowledge and dissemination, digital technologies play an important role. In fact, they allow building a digital archive in which virtual copies of found objects are available to scholars for more or less in-depth analysis. Digital archives of this type also allow the dissemination of scientific data, constituting, if published, databases accessible everywhere. The role of the digital archive is also to preserve the characteristics of the finds, which are often already deteriorated, without worsening the situation through their continuous manipulation or movement. Of course, the construction of digital copies must be done in the most rigorous way so as to guarantee scholars the truthfulness of the data being analysed, and building procedures as standardized as possible to allow their use even by unskilled personnel. Moreover, museums have the very complex task of communicating the heritage, which envisages two steps: reconstruction and communication. The first phase, reconstruction, is a very complex operation, especially in the archaeological field, where there are few documents and the hypotheses are based on principles of similarity. Since no direct reference is available, the reconstruction takes place through comparison with similar objects from the same period, the same area and with the same function. Communication, then, has the task of disseminating the results and the hypotheses made, with the most appropriate tools. 3D printing allows to build three-dimensional models of reality, and therefore immediately comprehensible, even of complex forms, not always achievable with the traditional tools of modelling tools. This article describes this complex process, and its application to the funerary aediculae monument at the Museo Archeologico di Mantova, on the occasion of the refurbishment of the museum and its exhibits. In this experience, the use of new technologies is being investigated in combination with more traditional methods of representation, the maquette, but not less effective.