3D Printing Being Used to Rebuild History

Although many people may be under the impression that archeological sites are “just a bunch of ruined buildings,” they would be very much mistaken. Instead, they should be viewed as treasures from past periods of history that need to be preserved as far as possible. A group of architects from Italy are currently in the process of trying to recreate some parts of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra by using a collection of 3D robotic printing devices.

Palmyra will Rise Again

After the city was recaptured recently, Maamun Abdelkarim, the Syrian director of antiques, stated, “We will not leave the temples destroyed. Palmyra will rise again. We have to send a message to terrorists.” The focus on rebuilding the city as an act of determination against ISIS has so far been more favorable than the voices of others who believe that the monuments should be left in their current state. Jonathan Jones from The Guardian believes that the city should be left in its current state. His argument is that it is never legitimate to rebuild and “refabricate” ancient monuments by using modern techniques and materials, even if the technology is available to do so.

And the Winners are….Italy, Dubai and Britain

In addition to the array of debates surrounding whether any form of rebuilding should be done to Palmyra, there was also a degree of competition regarding which countries and specialists should be involved if the rebuild was to go ahead. However, UNESCO, the Syrian government, Russia and a few private initiatives from Britain and Italy have all expressed a level of interest in working on the restoration project. However, Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini has emphasized that his country would be participating in the rebuild, along with a group of team members from Dubai and Britian.

More than Just a group of Printers

The Syrian city was destroyed by Daesh during the course of the past year because the organization classifies the Arch of Triumph, the temple of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel as monuments to idolatry. Members of the Italian restoration team will be using some of the latest and most technologically advanced 3D printing devices to recreate the destroyed archeological masterpieces, and the project is being jointly managed by the University of Oxford, Dubai’s Museum of the Future and Harvard University. In order to create a 3D mapping of the sites, thousands of images of the ruins have had to be used to assist with the process.

Over the past few years, 3D printers have been used to recreate numerous objects – even parts for a space shuttle. As time goes on and 3D technology and printing options continue to improve, there is no telling what other objects – or even archeological landmarks –  will be able to be created, recreated or even restored to their former glory. This could mean that no crucially important part of history or any landmarks will ever need to be lost forever again.