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Additive archaeology: towards a virtual archaeology reprinted?

Additive archaeology: towards a virtual archaeology reprinted?
Additive archaeology: towards a virtual archaeology reprinted?
Archaeologists in the 1980s were embracing wholeheartedly the rapidly expanding field of computer modelling, hypertext and visualisation as vehicles for data exploration. Against this backdrop ‘virtual archaeology’ was conceived. The term was originally intended to describe a multi-dimensional approach to the modelling of the physical structures and processes of field archaeology. It described some ways in which technology could be harnessed in order to achieve new ways of experiencing, documenting, interpreting and annotating primary archaeological materials and processes. Despite its initial promise, virtual archaeology failed to have the impact upon archaeological fieldwork which might have been expected. While the archaeological record is now primarily digital, its sections, plans, drawings and photographs are facsimiles of the analogue technologies which preceded them. This retention of analogue conventions is increasingly out of step with the general prevalence of digital technologies and especially 21st century advances in 'additive manufacturing', popularised through 3D printers, which could bring the world of virtual archaeology into closer alignment with the material one.

This paper will set out to demonstrate that in spite of technological developments much of the theoretical infrastructure which underpinned virtual archaeology remains as relevant today as it was when the term was first conceived. Through an analysis of rapidly developing additive manufacturing technology, this paper will demonstrate the need to move beyond passive technological appropriation and towards the development of authentically archaeological approaches to technology.
Reilly, Paul
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Beale, Gareth
52eb370c-cad0-4e4c-99c4-9efa1b2c1197
Reilly, Paul
b0803f86-2c58-411b-91c4-7c25415e2a67
Beale, Gareth
52eb370c-cad0-4e4c-99c4-9efa1b2c1197

Reilly, Paul and Beale, Gareth (2014) Additive archaeology: towards a virtual archaeology reprinted? CAA-GR Conference 2014 (CAA-GR 2014), Greece. 07 - 08 Mar 2014. 19 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

Archaeologists in the 1980s were embracing wholeheartedly the rapidly expanding field of computer modelling, hypertext and visualisation as vehicles for data exploration. Against this backdrop ‘virtual archaeology’ was conceived. The term was originally intended to describe a multi-dimensional approach to the modelling of the physical structures and processes of field archaeology. It described some ways in which technology could be harnessed in order to achieve new ways of experiencing, documenting, interpreting and annotating primary archaeological materials and processes. Despite its initial promise, virtual archaeology failed to have the impact upon archaeological fieldwork which might have been expected. While the archaeological record is now primarily digital, its sections, plans, drawings and photographs are facsimiles of the analogue technologies which preceded them. This retention of analogue conventions is increasingly out of step with the general prevalence of digital technologies and especially 21st century advances in 'additive manufacturing', popularised through 3D printers, which could bring the world of virtual archaeology into closer alignment with the material one.

This paper will set out to demonstrate that in spite of technological developments much of the theoretical infrastructure which underpinned virtual archaeology remains as relevant today as it was when the term was first conceived. Through an analysis of rapidly developing additive manufacturing technology, this paper will demonstrate the need to move beyond passive technological appropriation and towards the development of authentically archaeological approaches to technology.

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More information

Published date: 8 March 2014
Venue - Dates: CAA-GR Conference 2014 (CAA-GR 2014), Greece, 2014-03-07 - 2014-03-08
Related URLs:
Organisations: Archaeology

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Local EPrints ID: 364455
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364455
PURE UUID: 56dcab7e-66db-4316-825d-74e1b53c4f2a

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Date deposited: 30 Apr 2014 09:52
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:31

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Contributors

Author: Paul Reilly
Author: Gareth Beale

University divisions

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