Excavate in Tuscany from the Comfort of your own Home!

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Screenshot of the Poggio Civitate VR Data Viewer

A fantastic resource for archaeologists is “Open Source“. At this site, you can find lots of freely available data – including hundreds of archaeological projects. You can search through images, reports, maps, and more at the touch of a button. Open Source also hosts a contest to see who can use this data to best present a visualization related to archaeology. It’s called the “Open Context & Carleton Prize for Archaeological Visualization“. The first recipient of the prize (as of January 31, 2017), is the ‘Poggio Civitate VR Data Viewer’.

With this viewer, archaeology enthusiasts can explore the digital reconstruction of a 6th century BCE settlement. Their pointer is a trowel, and when you find an area you wish to excavate, you just click on the ground, and eventually, voila! You have yourself an artifact! When the player clicks on the artifact, a number of screens pop up. One explains the general identification of the object. Another shows an image of the object, and sometimes a third shows a digital reconstruction of the object in context. The project is a really great way to get people excited about learning about archaeology and the objects that might be found in an excavation.

What’s truly remarkable about this viewer, is that it took the team only 48 hours to create it!

If you happen to have some experience with the Digital Humanities, you too could submit an entry and take part! If you aren’t interested, do make sure you poke around Poggio Civitate, and maybe see what Open Source has to offer too!

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