Dig@IT: Virtual Reality in Archaeology

Project Summary

A virtual reality system to recreate the archaeological experience using data and 3D models from the neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, in Anatolia, Turkey. 

Themes and Categories
Year

Project Team

  • Emmanuel Shiferaw,ECE/CS, Duke University
  • Cheng Ma , ME/CS, Duke University
  • Regis Kopper, DiVE, Duke University
  • Maurizio Forte, AAHVS, Duke University
  • Nicola Lercari,  World Heritage, UC Merced 

Project Objectives

  • Develop archaeological VRapp containing models of real site. 
  • Allow manipulation of artifacts/”digging” within system. 

Description

  • Can view information from existing archaeological database contextually, in 3D space, for objects documented by field archaeologists.
  • Allows for measurement, analysis of artifacts and land on-site.
  • Built for Oculus and DiVE.
  • For DiVE, companion apps built for Google Glass and iPad, which dynamically display information from Catalhoyuk site database relating to feature being examined. 

Workflow

  • Digital Archaeologists capture 3D models of dig site and landscape through image-based modeling (photogrammetry), laser scanning, LIDAR, etc.
  • 3D models of site, artifacts, are imported into Unity3D game engine, where: 
    • Interactions and display are built to allow analysis and discovery within the application.
    • Application is built with Oculus Rift as head mounted-display, and Razer Hydra tracked wands as input devices. 

Download the project poster (PDF).

 

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Image credit:

J.M.W. Turner, Slave Ship, 1840, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (public domain)

Faculty Lead: Charlotte Sussman

Project Manager: Emma Davenport