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Ancient Sculptures Return to Mosul as Digitally Reconstructed Replicas

Submillimeter 3D scanning produces precise copies of Assyrian statues

4 min read
Photo: Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation
Hold Still: Artists scan a lamassu at night in the British Museum.
Photo: Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation

The Iraqi city of Mosul is still recovering from its brutal occupation by the Islamic State. The city suffered devastating bloodshed during that time, and many archaic statues and artifacts were destroyed by militants and vandals. Raising the city from the rubble will be rough work. In at least a couple of instances, though, resurrecting a piece of the ancient past will come courtesy of a 3D scanner.

Later this month, two ultradetailed facsimiles of the massive stone statues known as lamassu, protective spirits that date back nearly 3,000 years to the Assyrian empire, will begin a journey from the Netherlands to take up permanent residence in Mosul. As products of the digital age, their journey poses questions about authenticity and where objects belong.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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