New Archeological and Historical 3D Scanning

Artec’s 3D Scanning of the Borodino Battlefield outside Moscow where Napoleon was stopped in his attack on Russia in 1812

September 3 (Palo Alto, CA) – The year was 1812. Napoleon invaded Russia and was getting dangerously close to Moscow. The last stand for the city was the infamous battle of Borodino which took place on September 7th with more than 250,000 troops battling each other. At the conclusion of the battle, with no clear winner, Napoleon 1 ultimately entered Moscow, which had been burned to the ground by the Russians to destroy food for the French troops.

Marking the 200th anniversary of that battle, the Russian Academy of Sciences, commissioned Artec to help with excavation and documentation of the battle field. Artec ( was tasked with scanning all human and battle-horse remains. The job was not for the faint-of-heart. One of Artec’s tech workers nearly fainted. But they persevered…

Traditionally, archeologists use photography, as well as pen-and-paper, to document their findings. Using an Artec MHT scanner, Artec was able to not only document the objects/subjects they found during excavation, but they could also measure any part of the scene months after they left the site. The scanner also captured each object/subject layer by layer as it was being revealed. That means that each layer can be further analyzed. The excavation site contained the remains of 38 war-horses and 11 soldiers. One soldier’s scan clearly shows a bullet wound to the head.

Scanning took one hour and post processing took another hour (traditional tools would have taken many days). Artec Studio was used for further analysis in the lab.

Artec is grateful to have had this opportunity to be a part of European history and culture.

About the Battle of Borodino from Wikipedia:

The Battle of Borodino fought on September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia and the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties. The French Grande Armee under Emperor Napoleon 1 attacked the Imperial Russian Army of General Mikhail Kutuzov near the village of Borodino, west of the town of Mozhaysk and eventually captured the main positions on the battlefield, but failed to destroy the Russian army despite heavy losses. About a third of Napoleon’s soldiers were killed or wounded. Russian losses were also heavy, but casualties could be replaced since large forces of militia were already with the Russian Army and replacement depots which were close by had already been gathering and training troops.

The battle itself ended with the Russian Army out of position. The state of exhaustion of the French forces and lack of information on the Russian Army’s condition led Napoleon to remain on the battlefield with his army instead of the forced pursuit that had marked other campaigns that he had conducted in the past. Napoleon’s Imperial Guard was completely intact and available to his disposition. In refusing to commit the Guard he lost his singular chance to destroy the Russian army. The battle at Borodino was a pivotal point in the campaign, as it was the last offensive action fought by Napoleon in Russia. By withdrawing, the Russian army preserved its combat strength, eventually allowing it to force Napoleon out of the country.

About Artec Group
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