The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

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. University of Huddersfield..

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


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

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2011
Venue - Dates: Ads-Vis2011: Making Visible the Invisible: Art, Design and Science in Data Visualisation, United Kingdom, 2011-03-10 - 2011-03-11
Keywords: archaeological visualisation, authenticity, authority, computer graphics, procedural modelling, reconstruction, ACRG, PATINA
Organisations: Archaeology


Local EPrints ID: 203055
PURE UUID: 6aaf0076-9460-4339-9dfc-c237bcc5191d
ORCID for Graeme Earl: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Nov 2011 10:07
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:09

Export record


Author: Tom Frankland
Author: Graeme Earl ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.