Scanning cuneiform @ Royal Museum Mariemont (Belgium)


From 9 to 17 February the Portable Light Dome has been scanning cuneiform tablets at the Royal Museum of Mariemont (Belgium). This work on some hundred tablets, cones, cylinders, barrels and seals was conducted by the IAP Greater Mesopotamia team, i.e. the UCLouvain and KU Leuven partners.

They thank the direction of the Mariemont museum for the permission and their cooperation, in particular Arnaud Quertinmont for his kind reception and guidance throughout our stay.

(Hendrik Hameeuw, Elynn Gorris and Etienne Van Quickelberghe)

3 recent publications (late 2014) in Near Eastern Studies

Below 3 recent publications (late 2014) in Near Eastern Studies which used PLD-technology:

BOSCHLOOS V., HAMEEUW H. & VAN QUICKELBERGHE E. 2014: Scarabaei Chananaei Lovanienses: Middle Bronze Age ‘Hyksos’ Seal-Amulets in the University Museums of Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), Res Antiquae 11. (article on

GODDEERIS, A. & HAMEEUW H. 2014: Een Trans-atlantische Hereniging. Interactieve Opnames Reconstrueren een Oud-Babylonische Erfenisoorkonde, Phoenix 59/2, 67-78. (article on

BOSCHLOOS V., DEVILLERS A, GUBEL E., HAMEEUW H., JEAN C., VAN GOETHEM L., VAN OVERMEIRE S. & OVERLAET B. 2014: The Ancient Near Eastern Glyptic Collections of the Royal Museums of Art and History Reconsidered, Bulletin des Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire 83, 23-43. (article on

Detailed imaging with the Microdome of the Enclosed Gardens (16th century), Mechelen

Detailed imaging of the Enclosed Gardens (16th century), Mechelen

Detailed imaging of the Enclosed Gardens (16th century), Mechelen

Detailed imaging with the Microdome of the Enclosed Gardens within the framework of documentation, conservation en preservation project of the 16th century retables (2014-2016)

The Municipal Museums of Mechelen (Belgium) take care of a remarkable collection of seven Horti Conclusi (Enclosed gardens) dated from the 16th century. This collection belonged to the former convent of Mechelen’s Hospital Sisters. The Enclosed Gardens are rather unusual and extremely rare pieces of art that were mainly fabricated and conserved in the city of Mechelen. These Masterpieces are unique: few have survived and there is no comparable example of a similar well conserved coherent collection of Enclosed Gardens. It is therefore not a surprise that they are recognised as Flemish Masterpieces by the Flemish Government.

The Enclosed Gardens are testimonials of a high artistic quality and are the result of years of patient religious handycraft and an extraordinary tangible expression of a devotional tradition. Apart from the painted panels with saints and patrons and altarpieces with polychrome figures (well known poupées de Malines), the Enclosed Gardens contain textiles, metals, relics, glass, parchment and paper, wax and pipeclay, fragments of bone etc. For the Hospital Sisters these retables were a way to experience their devotion and spirituality.

2014: Report on Portable Light Dome in Cuneiform Studies

Hendrik Hameeuw 2014: Portable Light Dome System, from registration to online publication within the hour: status quaestionis Portable Light Dome project for cuneiform documents

Portable Light Dome System - From Registration to Online Publication within the Hour_titlepage

Reflectance imaging has proven its value over the past decade. Thanks to this imaging technique cultural heritage artefacts can now be studied and presented in ways which were/are inconceivable with established digital photography. Research centres and users groups all over the world have experimented with the approach. Cuneiform studies in particular have benefited from these new possibilities. Throughout the development of this technology clay tablets with inscribed text and impressed seals were recorded with different methods in the reflectance imaging arsenal.

This report, a status quaestionis, gives a overview of the accomplishments of the Portable Light Dome system over the last years within the field of Cuneiform Studies and it confronts the approach with other imaging technique common for that field.