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authors Dabney, M.K., Wright, J.C. and Sanders, D.H.
year 1999
title Virtual Reality and the Future of Publishing Archaeological Excavations: the multimedia publication of the prehistoric settlement on Tsoungiza at Ancient Nemea
source New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
summary The Nemea Valley Archaeological Project is a study of settlement and land use in a regional valley system in Greece extending from the Upper Paleolithic until the present. Active field research was conducted by four teams between 1981 and 1990. The first component was a regional archaeological survey. Second, and closely related to the first, was a social anthropological study of modern settlement and land use. Next was a team assigned to excavate the succession of prehistoric settlements of Ancient Nemea on Tsoungiza. Last, historical ecologists, a palynologist, and a geologist formed the environmental component of the research. As a result of advances in electronic publishing, plans for the final publication of the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project have evolved. Complete publication of the excavation of the prehistoric settlements of Ancient Nemea on Tsoungiza will appear in an interactive multimedia format on CD/DVD in Fall 2000. This project is planned to be the first electronic publication of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. We have chosen to publish in electronic format because it will meet the needs and interests of a wider audience, including avocational archaeologists, advanced high school and college students, graduate students, and professional archaeologists. The multimedia format on CD/DVD will permit the inclusion of text, databases, color and black-and-white images, two and three-dimensional graphics, and videos. This publication is being developed in cooperation with Learning Sites, Inc., which specializes in interactive three-dimensional reconstructions of ancient worlds http://www.learningsites.com. The Nemea Valley Archaeological Project is particularly well prepared for the shift towards electronic publishing because the project's field records were designed for and entered in computer databases from the inception of the project. Attention to recording precise locational information for all excavated objects enables us to place reconstructions of objects in their reconstructed architectural settings. Three-dimensional images of architectural remains and associated features will appear both as excavated and as reconstructed. Viewers will be able to navigate these images through the use of virtual reality. Viewers will also be able to reference all original drawings, photographs, and descriptions of the reconstructed architecture and objects. In this way a large audience will be able to view architectural remains, artifacts, and information that are otherwise inaccessible.
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