Front view-of-figure-ALLINTRO

NISMR No.: FER 173:002

Monument Type: Early Christian figures

The figures have gradually come to light since the early 19th century and have been much illustrated and discussed. Most or all were reused as building blocks in the church. One figure (3) was found as recently as 1958. The figures are impressive in scale, in their powerful modelling, and in the individuality of the faces, despite an overall similarity. All stare fixedly forward. Eyes are usually round and brow prominent, mouths small, hands and feet very small. Most wear the long tunic with bottom hem and sometimes front seam, familiar from manuscript and metalwork illustrations of churchmen.

The style of carving may have its roots in the pagan past, but there is no doubt that the figures are Christian and carried Biblical messages. Sockets in the heads and rough stumps under the feet suggest that the stones were structural members, to be set into something and support something else on their heads. The problem is to imagine how they were used, either singly or in pairs. Possibilities include structural supports in a church, in a large preaching pulpit, in a substantial shrine, or in the internal fittings of a church. They are unlikely to be earlier than the major figure-carved high crosses, and the 9th and 10th centuries are likely, before the abandonment of the wooden church. The figures were clearly of no interest to the builders of the Romanesque church, who used them simply as building stones.


Front view of early Christian figures at White Island, Co. Fermanagh Perspective view 1 of early Christian figures at White Island, Co. Fermanagh Perspective view 2 of early Christian figures at White Island, Co. Fermanagh Perspective view 3 of early Christian figures at White Island, Co. Fermanagh Photograph of Christian figures at White Island, Co. Fermanagh



3D Model



Technical Details

3D Capture Method: Close range Scanning

3D Capture Description: The Artec EVA scanner is used to generate high resolution models of surfaces with small scale detail. The Artec EVA uses structured light to record. A forensics tent is used to create a controlled lighting environment and ensure measurement can proceed regardless of the weather when used outdoors. Scanning is undertaken with the fastest speed setting (15 frames per second) and with a minimum 400 mm depth of field. The data is recorded with sufficient overlap between scans to ensure easy registration.

  • Resolution 0.5 mm
  • Accuracy 0.1 mm
  • Accuracy over distance 0.03% over 100 cm
  • Texture Resolution 1.3 mp
  • Colours 24 bpp
  • Light Source flash bulb (no laser)
  • Video frame rate 16 fps Exposure time 0.0002 s

Post-processing is done in Artec Studio 9 software: individual scans are edited, aligned, before a final surface is generated using global registration, fusion, and a small objects filter algorithm. If required, a textured surface can also be created. The model is exported from Artec Studio 9 as an .obj file. For dissemination purposes a 3D pdf of the model is generated using Geomagic Studio 2012.

Data Processing Software: Artec Studio 9 & Geomagic Studio



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Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht