In 2013, during the digging of foundations for a new boutique hotel in the Minories near the Tower of London, a stone carved Roman eagle was unearthed and described by archaeologists as one of the most important and best-preserved Romano-British sculptures dating from the first century AD.


The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) asked Quod to 3D scan the eagle and capture as much of the original detail as possible for conservation purposes.


At a height of 65cm and width of 55cm, it was a substantial artefact and it was decided that the Artec Spider would be the most suitable scanner for the task.


With a resolution of up to 0.1mm, a point accuracy of up to 0.03mm and the ability to record full-colour, the Spider uses video technology at up to 7.5fps to capture highly accurate 3D data. This appears in real time in the included Artec Studio software as the object is being scanned.


Despite the amazing preservation of the eagle after centuries buried in a Roman ditch, the right wing was detached from the main body, but was itself still relatively intact. After scanning both pieces, we were able to align the two batches of data and recreate the eagle in its original glory.


With all data processed, we created a fully rotatable digital file which is suitable for websites, exhibition monitors or digital presentations. We also created a fly-through video as an educational tool to showcase the eagle detail. If required, an identical eagle can now be printed in 3D or milled in stone using the scan data.


The video below left shows the process of capturing the 3D data and how, once the wing had been digitally re-attached, a fly-through video was created showing close-up texture and detail.