Hitachi Systems and JEPICO partnered up to capture and document the insides of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. In 2017, a research team formed by Nagoya University and other institutions announced the discovery of an unknown giant void inside the Great Pyramid of Giza located in Egypt. The government of Egypt designated the Higashi Nippon International University for "The Great Pyramid Project" launched in April 2018. Sakuji Yoshimura, President of Higashi Nippon International University and project leader, recalls: “The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities called, and wanted to know if this announcement could be verified scientifically.
Therefore, we started a scientific verification process where the inside of the pyramid was scanned with cameras and then the data converted to 3D models.”. JEPICO, with its high-performance 100-million pixel camera, and Hitachi Systems, which has advanced technical capabilities and extensive experience in 3D modeling with images using Pix4Dmapper, joined this project as partners.
The key to accurately modeling the interior of the Great Pyramid, where lighting conditions are challenging, was the project members’ know-how in capturing data, as well as the technical expertise in utilizing various features of Pix4Dmapper photogrammetry software. Even for the dark and narrow King’s Chamber inside the Great Pyramid, the JEPICO and Hitachi Systems team succeeded in generating an accurate 3D model that provides a faithful reproduction of the real colors and shapes. Now that remote investigation is enabled by the accurate 3D reconstructions, the team has high hopes for new archeological discoveries, such as the ability to distinguish materials by their image color.
Yoshimura comments, "I was simply astounded at how, instead of using CGI (computer generated imagery) for reproduction or similar methods, real images were used for the modeling, using the colors of the actual objects. Clear and sharp images and videos like these of the King's Chamber have never been seen before and will be extremely useful in future pyramid studies."
Special thanks to the members of Hitachi Systems and to ImageONE, our premier reseller in Japan, for their help in preparing this article. Read the full article on Hitachi Systems’ website and watch a 4-minute video introducing the project.
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Coordinates: 19°03′27″N98°18′07″W / 19.05750°N 98.30194°W. Location within Mexico today. The Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl (Nahuatl for "made-by-hand mountain"), is a complex located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. The Cholula archaeological zone is situated 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) west of the city of Puebla, in the city of Cholula. The pyramid is located in the San Andrés Cholula, Puebla municipality, and marks the area in the center of the city where this municipality begins. The city is divided into two municipalities called San Andrés and San Pedro. This division originates in the Toltec-Chichimeca conquest of the city in the twelfth century.
These pushed the former dominant ethnicity of the Olmeca-Xicalanca, to the south of the city. These people kept the pyramid as their primary religious center, but the newly dominant Toltec-Chichimecas founded a new temple to Quetzalcoatl where the San Gabriel monastery is now. The Toltec-Chichimec people who settled in the area around the twelfth century AD named Cholula as Tlachihualtepetl, meaning "artificial hill".. The name cholula has its origin in the ancient Nahuatl word cholollan, which means "place of refuge".. Model of the various structures that make up the pyramid.
The Great Pyramid was an important religious and mythical centre in prehispanic times. Over a period of a thousand years prior to the Spanish Conquest, consecutive construction phases gradually built up the bulk of the pyramid until it became the largest in Mexico by volume.. Comparison of approximate profiles of the Great Pyramid of Cholula with some notable pyramidal or near-pyramidal buildings. Dotted lines indicate original heights, where data is available. In its SVG file, hover over a pyramid to highlight and click for its article. The temple-pyramid complex was built in four stages, starting from the 3rd century BC through the 9th century AD, and was dedicated to the deity Quetzalcoatl. It has a base of 300 by 315 metres (984 by 1,033 ft) and a height of 25 m (82 ft).
At its peak, Cholula had the second largest population in Mexico of an estimated 100,000 people living at this site. Though the prehispanic city of Cholula remained inhabited, residents abandoned the Great Pyramid in the 8th century as the city suffered a drastic population drop. Even after this population drop, the Great Pyramid retained its religious importance..
The site was once called Cholollan meaning "the place of those who fled", a clear reference to the events written on the colonial text Anales de Cuauhtinchan, where a group of tolteca-chichimeca arrive and conquer the city after running from their previous capital city, tollan-xicocotitlán.. Architect Ignacio Marquina started exploratory tunnelling within the pyramid in 1931. By 1954, the total length of tunnels came to approximately 8.0 kilometres (5 mi)..
Today the pyramid at first looks like a natural hill surmounted by a church. This is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Church of Our Lady of Remedies), also known as the Santuario de la Virgen de los Remedios (Sanctuary of the Virgin of Remedies), which was built by the Spanish in colonial times (1594) on top of the prehispanic temple.
The church is a major Catholic pilgrimage destination, and the site is also used for the celebration of indigenous rites. Many ancient sites in Latin America are found under modern Catholic holy sites, due to the practice of the Catholic Church of repurposing local religious sites. Because of the historic and religious significance of the church, which is a designated colonial monument, the pyramid as a whole has not been excavated and restored, as have the smaller but better-known pyramids at Teotihuacan.
Inside the pyramid are some five miles (8.0 km) of tunnels excavated by archaeologists.