La Lune wreck in 3D

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Photo: Experts are recording the La Lune wreck while the artefacts are in situ

Experts are using innovative 3D technology to explore, record and recover artefacts from the La Lune wreck site 300 feet below the surface off the coast of Toulon, France.

The French Navy, 3D pioneers Dassault Systèmes, and archaeologist Michel L'hour and team are working together to conduct the exploration which is also a test site for new techniques of working with advanced underwater survey equipment.

Using a prototype underwater camera aboard an ROV, the 420m2 La Lune wreck site is being captured with absolute accuracy in realistic 3D so that the team can use virtual reality to explore and experience the site safely from dry land or onboard the command vessel.

The research vessel is equipped with a digital desk which displays the finds as they are collected and acts as the project's nerve centre.

It means that experts can develop their discovery and recovery strategy at the wreck site while the artefacts are in situ and without disturbing the site.

The team hopes to recover cannons and delicate pottery jars and plates, water bottles and musical instruments.

The Sun King, Louis the Fourteenth's ship, La Lune (The Moon), sank in 1664 and is a well preserved ship with an estimated 60,000 accompanying artefacts.

Now archaeologists, academics and the public can will now be able to explore the La Lune wreck for themselves without getting wet.