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University of South Florida Libraries' Farid Karam M.D. Lebanon Antiquities Collection
Virtualization Project: Virtual Karam Collection 

In 1998, a collection of 149 archaeological artefacts from Lebanon, ranging from Middle Bronze Age to Early Medieval period, was donated to University of South Florida (USF) Libraries' Special Collections by Dr Farid Karam with the agreement that it would been musealized and shared with the public, Since then, due to lack of funds and appropriate space, the unpublished collection was never exhibited and shared with the global public.
Between 2017 and 2018, Dr Davide Tanasi and his team of graduate students of the USF History Department undertook a virtualization and digital dissemination project of the entire Karam collection.

The Collection

The collection consists of metal, stone, ceramic, and glass artifacts. The 48 metal artifacts are in part medical tools dating to the Hellenistic and Roman periods and in part Bronze Age toggle pins and other decorative objects. Of the 20 ceramic artifacts there are eight lamps, dating from the 2nd to 13th century CE, and a series of unassociated bowls. The 76 glass artifacts comprise unguentaria from the first four centuries of the 1st millennium and a few vessels dating to the Hellenistic period. Stone items are represented by three alabaster artifacts. 

Virtualization and Data Curation

The 149 artifacts were 3D captured using close range 3D scanning and digital photogrammetry carried out by graduate students at the USF Institute for Digital Exploration (IDEx). UV mapping technique was used to map the high definition photographic textures onto the high presion meshes. The archaeological metadata were substantially revised and the data curated according to the standard adopted by USF LIbraries. Paradata (lab notes) were produced to document the technical solutions used through the various stages of the production process.

Global Digital Dissemination

The 3D models of all the archaeological artifacts of the Karam Collection were initially disseminated online on the USF IDEx Sketchfab page and received with great enthusiam by scholars and general public.

More recently the current ad hoc web platform housed on a USF server and maintaned by USF IT has been launched in order to disseminate the metadata in a more user friendly interface. 3D printing has been also employed to create a physical replica of the entire collection for school outreach an community outreach purposes. 

3D Scanning

Processing of 3D Data

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Textured 3D Model

Virtual Reality Application 

Further reading: D. Tanasi, S. Hassam, K. Kingsland, Learning through objects: 3D Digital Imaging and 3D Printing for public outreach in archaeology, Visual Heritage 2018, Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies (CHNT), Vienna November 12-15 2018, digital edition, pp. 1-13, forthcoming,