Virtual reconstruction of a seventeenth-century Portuguese nau



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Texas A&M University


This interdisciplinary research project combines the fields of nautical archaeology and computer visualization to create an interactive virtual reconstruction of the 1606 Portuguese vessel Nossa Senhora dos Ma?rtires, also known as the Pepper Wreck. Using reconstruction information provided by Dr. Filipe Castro (Texas A&M Department of Anthropology), a detailed 3D computer model of the ship was constructed and filled with cargo to demonstrate how the ship might have been loaded on the return voyage from India. The models are realistically shaded, lighted, and placed into an appropriate virtual environment. The scene can be viewed using the real-time immersive and interactive system developed by Dr. Frederic Parke (Texas A&M Department of Visualization). The process developed to convert the available information and data into a reconstructed 3D model is documented. This documentation allows future projects to adapt this process for other archaeological visualizations, as well as informs archaeologists about the type of data most useful for computer visualizations of this kind.