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Modeling in archaeology: computer graphic and other digital pasts

Modeling in archaeology: computer graphic and other digital pasts
Modeling in archaeology: computer graphic and other digital pasts
This paper examines computer graphic simulations of archaeological environments and materials, and explores their formal and informal uses as a means to model archaeological data and archaeological thinking. The paper's main contribution is its focus on the perspective of the model-maker rather than upon the consumer, through an understanding of models both as “constructions of past lifeways” and as “‘thinking spaces.” These concepts are explored through two case studies. The first employs models as modes for re-engaging with archaeological material, where the perception of modeled past environments is taken analogically to inform an understanding of the past as imagined. Questions such as the relationship between digital model experience and a former, unattainable past reality are introduced, alongside the potentials and dangers of a model that may become perceptually indistinguishable from reality. In the second case study, models provide new forms of space within which to build interpretations: they are active vessels for interpretation and debate in the present. The case study considers the relationship between presence and the development of interpretation, and considers the agency of digital objects and the possibilities of virtual collaboration. Model building is explored biographically and the paper concludes by placing archaeological graphical models in the broader context of visualization and as tools for interpretation rather than static outputs or modes of dissemination.
1063-6145
226-244
Earl, Graeme
724c73ef-c3dd-4e4f-a7f5-0557e81f8326
Earl, Graeme
724c73ef-c3dd-4e4f-a7f5-0557e81f8326

Earl, Graeme (2013) Modeling in archaeology: computer graphic and other digital pasts. Perspectives on Science, 21 (2), 226-244. (doi:10.1162/POSC_a_00096).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper examines computer graphic simulations of archaeological environments and materials, and explores their formal and informal uses as a means to model archaeological data and archaeological thinking. The paper's main contribution is its focus on the perspective of the model-maker rather than upon the consumer, through an understanding of models both as “constructions of past lifeways” and as “‘thinking spaces.” These concepts are explored through two case studies. The first employs models as modes for re-engaging with archaeological material, where the perception of modeled past environments is taken analogically to inform an understanding of the past as imagined. Questions such as the relationship between digital model experience and a former, unattainable past reality are introduced, alongside the potentials and dangers of a model that may become perceptually indistinguishable from reality. In the second case study, models provide new forms of space within which to build interpretations: they are active vessels for interpretation and debate in the present. The case study considers the relationship between presence and the development of interpretation, and considers the agency of digital objects and the possibilities of virtual collaboration. Model building is explored biographically and the paper concludes by placing archaeological graphical models in the broader context of visualization and as tools for interpretation rather than static outputs or modes of dissemination.

Text
Modelling in Archaeology: Computer Graphic and Other Digital Pasts - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 22 April 2013
Published date: June 2013
Additional Information: Special edition derived from invited seminar in Helsinki 2010. Edited by Mary Morgan (LSE) and Till Gruene-Yanoff (Helsinki). Completed and with referees. To be published in 2012.
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 204315
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/204315
ISSN: 1063-6145
PURE UUID: 218a0701-e6aa-400d-833d-fd492e600f32
ORCID for Graeme Earl: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9077-4605

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Nov 2011 14:47
Last modified: 05 Nov 2019 01:59

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