Friday, November 11, 2005

More Sketchup

I returned to Sketchup tonight, using the correct file. The more data points a file has, the more strain it puts on the computer, so this smaller, simplified AutoCAD file was much easier to work with than the original, site-wide file. I’m pretty intent on confirming whether or not the walls of the Akapana align or not. A huge shortcoming of Sketchup is that its extremely difficult to use for work with rounded surfaces or natural materials like dirt and rock. It simply wasn’t created for that purpose. However, I hear it’s typical for archeologists to have to work with tools designed for other purposes, so I guess I’m just getting an accurate taste of the real world.

Anyway, the linearity of Sketchup can actually be used to its advantage when trying to determine if various components of the Akapana line up. There are 3-5 excavated sites on the structure (that I can see from the topographical data). By inserting rectangular-shaped blocks into the model, I was able to connect the first and second decorative wall layers between 2 or 3 excavated sites. I should mention that I’m not interested in the misalignment cited by prior archeologists. The discussion with Alexei made it clear that the double-wall theory explains that. I’m more interested in checking to see if the Akapana is level and if adjacent walls of the structure are where one would expect to find them. As it turns out, my model shows that there is about a 2 foot elevation difference between the two excavated walls I chose to examine. Unless the Akapana was intentionally slanted, I believe that shifting ground can be blamed; it has been thousands of years since the pyramid was built, after all.


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