|page added Sept. 5, 1998|
WORLDS IN ARCHAEOLOGY
INITIATIVE grew out
of sessions sponsored by Learning Sites, Inc. (Williamstown, Massachusetts,
USA), and the AIACE (Italy) at the Festival on Virtual Reality at
the Computer Applications in Archaeology Conference, Barcelona, Spain (March
24 - 26, 1998).
The participants in the Festival believed that it would be unfortunate if the 3D digital models, texture maps, and virtual ancient worlds, that have already been produced or are currently under development, remained localized, when the archaeological profession could benefit so much from applying those virtual re-creations ofancient sites right now to, for example, the problems of culture change, chronologyrefinement, and the understanding intrasite development.
It was recognized that the important work being generated provides valuable data that can benefit archaeological research, teaching, and publishing. This work should not be lost or shelved--the models, textures, and virtual environments should not be abandoned when projects are completed, funds cease, or excavation ends.
Thus, the VIRTUAL WORLDS IN ARCHAEOLOGY INITIATIVE was created as a means to facilitate the preservation, cataloguing, and active use the virtual ancient worlds already completed, being built, or in preparation.
We believe that such efforts can enable distance education, global research, and access to the latest interactive visualizations. This is a very exciting time for archaeologists. Our study of the past need not rely on methods of the past. New media technologies can be brought to bear on all aspects of data recovery, analysis, and publication, and our questions about the past can benefit from new means of visualizing the answers.