Authority and authenticity in future archaeological visualisation


Frankland, Tom and Earl, Graeme (2011) Authority and authenticity in future archaeological visualisation. In, Proceedings of Ads-Vis2011: Making Visible the Invisible: Art, Design and Science in Data Visualisation. Ads-Vis2011: Making Visible the Invisible: Art, Design and Science in Data Visualisation , University of Huddersfield. (In Press).

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Description/Abstract

Increasingly, archaeologists are using virtual reconstruction as a method for visualising archaeological data. Whilst these visualisations have improved the way archaeologists create interpretations and present their data to the public, they also pose a number of problems. One of these is associated with the authority of virtual visualisations. Archaeologists often create visualisations based on a single interpretation of the archaeological data, or only present a single outcome from the varied interpretations they considered. However, by presenting a single view of the past, there is concern that a viewer's faith in an interpretation is increased, denying them the right to think for themselves. Another concern is with the transparency of visualisations. Most archaeologists consider it important that a viewer is made aware of the data used to create a visualisation, yet despite a host of technologies and policy documents there remains little consensus on how this can be achieved. Despite numerous attempts by archaeologists, these problems have remained largely unresolved. However, based on the application of several innovative techniques for visualising and recording the provenance of archaeological data, it is suggested that we have made a significant step forward in addressing them. This suggestion is based on involvement with a larger research project, RCUK PATINA. The PATINA project aims to revolutionise research spaces, through the use of wearable prototypes which will enhance research objects by bringing the digital into the physical world, through projection and other interfaces. The PATINA project is also interested in capturing, recording and replaying a researcher's activities in order to support the sharing and publication of research. Early research for PATINA has highlighted that there are likely to be significant implications resulting from the way archaeological data could be visualised in the near future. For example, the use of an augmented reality interface combined with gestural input might transform the act of interpretation into one of performance. Another possibility is that archaeologists could simultaneously and collaboratively create virtual visualisations. Wearable technologies also permit data to be visualised anywhere, which has numerous implications for fieldwork practices

Item Type: Book Section
Related URLs:
Keywords: archaeological visualisation, authenticity, authority, computer graphics, procedural modelling, reconstruction, ACRG, PATINA
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 203055
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2011 10:07
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:47
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/203055

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