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).

 

Related Projects

Annie Xu (Rice, CEE), Liuren Yin (ECE), and Zoe Zhu (Data Science) spent ten weeks analysing usage data for MorphoSource, a publicly available 3D data repository maintained by Duke University. Working with Python and Tableau, the team developed an interactive dashboard that allows MorphoSource staff to explore usage patterns for site visitors who view 3D files representing objects from primate skulls to historical art pieces.

 

View the team's project poster here

Watch the team's final presentation on Zoom here:

 

Project Leads: Doug Boyer, Julia Winchester

After London was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1666, it was reconstructed into the “emerald gem of Europe,” a utopian epicenter focused on England’s political and economic interests. For whom was the utopia constructed? Who determined its architectural choices? And what did such a utopia look like in seventeenth-century London?


Our research uses Natural Language Processing to analyze semantic trends in digitized text from the online database “Early English Books Online” (EEBO-TCP https://textcreationpartnership.org/tcp-texts/eebo-tcp-early-english-books-online/) to answer such questions. After applying methods such as word-embedding, sentiment analysis, and hapax richness, we provide an overview of themes in the seventeenth century; specifically, we conducted case studies on changes to coal taxes within the period and the reconstruction of St Paul's Cathedral. Our results thus show that, while a utopian society was originally intended to be built for the people, the project’s motivation eventually shifted to a political purpose, as evidenced by the approval of more costly city projects. In response to backlash against the increase of taxes on coal to support large-scale building projects, the ruling class highlighted positive outcomes in printed materials in order to convince working class persons that their collected taxes contributed to a greater good, despite evidence to the contrary. Finally, during key historical events, sentiment and hapax richness are shown to have an inverse relationship, the results of which can demonstrate how London writers engaged with text and genre as forms of protest.

View the team's project poster here

Watch the team's final project presentation on Zoom:

 

Is there a right type and amount of consumption? The idea of ethical consumption has gained prominence in recent discourse, both in terms of what we purchase (from fair trade coffee to carbon off-sets) and how much we consume (from rechargeable batteries to energy efficient homes).