Major Grants Received
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Workshop Funded by a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: the Potential of Digital Archaeology
With additional support from Creighton University, Davidson College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Principal Investigators: Erin Walcek Averett, Derek B. Counts, Jody Gordon
Workshop to be held February 27 and 28, 2015, at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston
Workshop Organizers: Erin Walcek Averett (Creighton University), Derek B. Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jody Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology), and Michael K. Toumazou (Davidson College)
This two-day workshop, funded by a Digital Humanities Start-Up grant from the National Endowment for Humanities, focuses on the emergence of ‘paperless archaeology’ – fully digital recording systems to create born-digital data in the field. The purpose of this intensive workshop is to bring together the leading figures in the field to discuss the use, creation, and implementation of mobile tablet technology in advancing “paperless” archaeology. Session themes are aimed to facilitate presentation and discussion on how archaeologists around the world from different disciplines are using tablets or similar digital tools in the field and in the lab, and how best practices are emerging and might be implemented across projects. The workshop will highlight the advantages and future of mobile computing as well as its challenges and limitations. The workshop format will consist of formal paper sessions, a hands-on demonstration, a round table, and break-out session, as well as ample opportunities for informal discussion at meals and breaks. A final session will focus on producing a consensus regarding the best way to disseminate the information gleaned from the workshop and how it can be maintained for future academic and public use. Proceedings of this workshop will be published.
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Funded by a George F. Haddix grant from Creighton University, a Faculty Research and Creative Activities Support Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Davidson College Athienou Archaeological Project
(Re)Constructing Antiquity: 3D Modeling the Votive Sculpture from Athienou-Malloura, Cyprus
Principal Investigators: Erin Walcek Averett and Derek B. Counts
In summer 2014 the Athienou Archaeological Project (Davidson College), in collaboration with the University of Kentucky’s Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, Creighton University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, initiated a pilot research project that utilized structured light scanning to produce 3D images of Archaic-Roman votive offerings dedicated in the extra-urban sanctuary at Athienou-Malloura. Visual documentation is at the core of archaeological practice and imaging has played a critical role in archiving and interpreting material culture. Although archaeologists have embraced technology for this purpose since the discipline’s inception, recently there has been a proliferation in cost-effective digital imaging technologies and the use of computerized applications. The utilization of imaging technologies presents many practical advantages, from research analysis to virtual presentation, in an international field that rarely permits archaeological finds and objects to be removed from their country of origin.
2014 was the pilot season implementing an accurate but cost-effective process to create high resolution 3D image data sets. A close-range projection structured light scanning system with customized hardware and software packages was developed for our project by the Center for Visualization. The equipment includes a Flea3 8.8 MP Color camera, a BenQ 1080p projector to illuminate each object with a known pattern, and purpose-built software to scan, reconstruct, mesh, texture map, and visualize objects. The objects scanned include a range of scales and materials, including gold jewelry, terracotta figurines, limestone statues, and glass and ceramic vessels. In addition to developing protocols and a set of best-practices for the scanning process, we were able to generate an accurate and sample corpus of 3D images. The metadata contained in the 3D images (which records the geometry and shape of the object, as well as its appearance) has already proven to be a powerful tool. As just one example, final images can be measured with a digital ruler to mm accuracy across any part (or the whole) of the object. Subsequent phases of this project will experiment with developing a predictive data processing algorithm that will use geometric dimensions, surface texture, and break patterns to propose potential joins among our thousands of terracotta and limestone fragments and use the 3D images to ask further research questions regarding manufacture technique and surface treatment.
Gratitude is also owed to the following for their contributions to the project since its inception in 1990.
College of Wooster
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Athienou Dairy Association
Michael & Philip Koursaris
Mr. and Mrs. Duffy Cofer
Takis and Susan Iordanou
APS Athienites Ltd.
Finally, special thanks to all Athienites, in Cyprus and abroad, that support our work, in any way, through their friendship, generosity, and hospitality.