GSA 2016-2017 MSc final project – collaborative environment for archaeological reconstruction.

This is a small project that explored the shared reconstruction of an archaeological landscape.

The aim was to explore the possibilities, and the implications of collaborative 3D environments using currently available technology in order to highlight some of the challenges faced in the developing such solutions, and some of the implications adopting such environments might have on our understanding of the past.

Over a little over 2 months, a prototype system was developed that linked the Unity games engine to QGIS via a PostGIS spatial database hosted on a Raspberry Pi. Though only provisional, the system provided an environment and simple interface for different archaeological specialists to explore, and comment on a developing reconstruction of a past landscape.

A small animated short developed as part of the project is presented below. It, the surround sound audio and all the stills were rendered out of Unity, with minimal post-process composition with Adobe After effects. The linked platform, and the visualisation produced are a work in progress, but go some way to show the growing capability of open source and free-to-use solutions.

The animated short shows a first draft of a morning scene just next to the epipalaeolithic site known as Shubayqa 1.  The vegetation coverage, animal sounds and landscape are all derived from or inspired by data recovered from the site. More information about the project will be posted later. More information on the archaeological project can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Shubayqa-Archaeological-Project-510744385674532/

Below are a few images taken from the production render, as well as screenshots of the modified Unity Editor interface and a very basic systems diagram showing how everything worked together.

<<page inProduction video to be uploaded>>