Harvard and Oxford archeologists are planning to give out cameras capable of taking 3D images across the Middle East in an effort to preserve ancient sites and artefacts under threat from the Islamic State (IS) group.
Thousands of residents will be asked to capture images with cheap 3D cameras as part of the project by the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA).
The images would be uploaded automatically to a database, and conservationists would then use 3D printing technology to build replicas of damaged buildings and artefacts.
The announcement of the $3 million project comes days after IS militants destroyed a 2,000-year-old temple in Palmyra, Syria.
According to IDA Executive Director Roger Michel, “By placing the record of our past in the digital realm, it will lie forever beyond the reach of vandals and terrorists.”