05 November 2012
Three-Dimensional animations and models from a Scottish-led digital preservation project have been gifted to the Indian people. ...
Three-Dimensional animations and models from a Scottish-led digital preservation project of the centuries old Rani ki Vav Step Well have been gifted to the Indian people. Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, presented the digital survey data and virtual animations captured by the Scottish Ten project to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during a visit to New Delhi.
The Scottish Ten Rani ki Vav Step Well project
In 2011 a team from Scotland flew to Gujarat to spend two weeks working closely with heritage experts from the ASI to digitally preserve the ornately carved terraces of the step well using 3D laser scanners as part of the Scottish Ten project. Rani ki Vav has seven terraced levels descending more than 20 metres into the ground, with each terrace decorated with multiple pillared pavilions and adorned with ornate and intricate sculptures of Hindu deities.
Dating from between 1022-1063 AD Rani ki Vav is also known as the Queen’s Step Well as it is believed it was commissioned by Queen Udayamati in memory of her late husband Bhimdev I.Rani ki Vav is currently on the UNESCO Tentative World Heritage List which means that the World Heritage Committee will consider it for official World Heritage Site (WHS) designation. It is hoped that the Scottish Ten digital preservation project will contribute to the ASI’s bid for UNESCO WHS recognition for the site.
Despite the architectural and historic significance of Rani ki Vav, it is not widely known outwith India, and so it is also hoped that the Scottish Ten project will bring the site to a wider audience via virtual tours created from the 3D data.
Stunning heritage site
Fiona Hyslop said: 'Rani ki Vav is an incredibly stunning heritage site and the joint expertise of the Archaeological Survey of India and Scottish Ten team was invaluable in recording the intricate carvings and sheer scale of the step well.
'It is very important in our partnerships that both sides can learn from the expertise each has in managing and conserving such globally significant monuments and look at how this information can be used to best preserve and promote them now and in the future.
'I am delighted to be able to hand over the digital survey data and multimedia produced from the 3D scanning, including a virtual model that captures both the beauty and architectural wonder of this historic masterpiece, on behalf of the Scottish Ten team and the people of Scotland.'
The Scottish Ten team is now preparing to digitally survey the Eastern Qing Tombs, part of the Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties World Heritage Site in Beijing.
To view the animations of the Step Well, visit Historic Scotland's animation folder.
Image copyright Historic Scotland
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