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Documenting the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Areal view of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and its surrounding buildings

Areal view of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and its surrounding buildings, © University of Bamberg

13.02.2018 - Article

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple and home to the key religious relic in Sri Lanka. Its architectural details were recently documented with funds from Germanys Federal Foreign Office - Preservation of cultural heritage Programme

Documenting the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple and home to the key religious relic in Sri Lanka: the tooth of Lord Buddha. Mainly because of the importance of the relict and the buildings housing it Kandy was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

University staff supervising the scanning of the temple© University of Bamberg

The current structures of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic are well maintained and are standing strong, but natural and man made threats pose a threat to buildings of this caliber: they could be seriously damaged or even lost.  The architectual superstructure is ancient and was never documented to the extent nowadays standard. In the case of the substantial damage or even loss of buildings their reconstruction to its original splendor would be near impossible.

2015 the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg took on the task to 3D scan a mayor part of the temple. With a non invasive laser technology all accessible parts of the temple and its ajacent structeures were calibrated to the fraction of a milimeter. With thousands of high-resolution photographs the used colours and building techniques were documented in order to prepare for the unthinkable. The results comprising several Terabyte of data was shared with the temple administration.

A photografic reflection of the data gathered© University of Bamberg

This documentation was made possible with facilitation of the Embassy using funds of Germanys Federal Foreign Office - Preservation of cultural heritage Programme.


 

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