Matera: Visit the city’s ancient rupestrian churches with 3D technologies and 5G connectivity

The user

One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Matera is known for the historical “Sassi” ancient cave houses dating to the Palaeolithic period. The Sassi, together with the Park of Rupestrian Churches, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The challenge

The #BariMatera5G project aims to test the potential of 5G connectivity in the cities of Bari and Matera. In Matera the project foresaw the creation of an archaeological map of the city and of the suburban area and a Digital Atlas of Rupestrian Heritage in Matera (DARHEM).

The satellite solution:

To realise the 3D Digital Atlas, the School of Archaeology collaborated with Digital Lighthouse to experiment using 5G. The 3D Digital Atlas was developed through the analysis of bibliographic documentation, the study of frescoes and sculptures, and the analysis of degradation and of the geo-archaeological risk. The data archive has been digitised and the entire area surveyed using photo-modelling software and digital photogrammetry.

The results

The result is a 3D reconstruction of some of the rupestrian churches of the archaeological site of Matera, like the Church of Santa Agnese and the Church of Madonna delle Tre Porte, which can be visualised online by anyone.

The 5G network allows multiple persons in different locations to meet a local guide in a virtual reality environment and to visit the 3D reconstruction of some pointsof the Sassi and of the rupestrian complex of Madonna delle Virtù, San Nicola dei Greci and of the Crypt of the Original Sin, all on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Visitors are free to move in the planned areas and to manipulate available objects. Within the virtual tours, low latency allows for interaction between visitors. They can even appreciate details that are no longer present in reality (e.g. decorations of a church gone lost or damaged), hence living experiences not replicable in “real life”.