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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Virtual Archaeology: Why So Many Schools Are Going 3D

The Digital Age of Archaeology, otherwise called Virtual Archaeology, is here. As new technologies are made available to universities, researchers, archaeologists, and historians, the field of archaeology will naturally evolve. As such, many archaeology departments are now using 3D modeling software to decipher ancient worlds. Consequently, they have also gone as far as using computers to recreate the environment and conditions of the past and historic battles.

As radar images and geophysical surveys continue to take over the archaeological world, so does an archaeologist's ability to understand what kind of information can be discovered by using these methods.

Information Courtesy of MNSU

There are four fundamental computer-based applications or program types that are being developed in virtual archaeology as it exists today. 

  • Database Management: It is used for the creation, storage and retrieval of data.
  • Statistical Analysis of data: This can take the form of traditional statistical archaeological analysis, spreadsheet software programs or managerial database query language programs.
  •  Image Processing: This allows the researcher to manipulate images in order to visualize data representations in a variety of ways.
  • Modeling programs: These use the data collected and the images created to model artifact assemblages in a relational manner and to create dynamic virtual realities where one can study the way in which different components of the past may have functioned.
Do any of you use Virtual Archaeology at your college? If you do, tell us about it.


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