Thursday, May 28 • 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Virtual Shipwrecks: an archaeological analysis of digital 3D visualisations of underwater shipwreck sites in Western Australia

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Until recently, acquiring photographs of an underwater site and processing them into a 3D reconstruction was time consuming and required specialist skills. Advances in algorithms for computer science and machine vision now allow raw images to be quickly processed and 3D reconstructions automatically derived. This PhD research proposes that these advances will enable archaeologists with minimal training to create geometrically accurate image-based 3D reconstructions of underwater archaeological sites, fulfilling essential archaeological requirements of recording a site quickly and accurately. Both legacy data (data previously collected) and new data (collected during this research) will form the basis for the project. 

Ultimately, this research is intended to provide a detailed, accurate and informative digital representation of a site for archaeological interpretation. Successful completion of highly accurate 3D reconstructions will allow for continual interpretation and reassessment of primary data for generations to come by navigating, exploring and virtually swimming through a 3D reconstruction of an underwater shipwreck. This is a powerful communication medium and the potential uses within museums, art galleries and other cultural institutions are seemingly endless. 

Additionally, this study proposes to contribute to techniques and methods for recording underwater archaeological sites by testing and refining a methodology for accurate and affordable image-based reconstruction of shipwrecks, with case studies drawn from Western Australia (WA). This has implications beyond maritime archaeology as image-based recording of sites and the application of modern 3D reconstruction software will fulfil essential archaeological requirements of recording a site quickly and accurately, potentially becoming a primary tool for archaeological recording. This poster presents that latest results and findings of this research project and attempts to readdress the question of whether this truly is an accurate and reliable form of archaeological recording?

Thursday May 28, 2015 5:30pm - 6:00pm EDT
Lincoln Room Kellogg Center

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