Category Archives: Archaeology

Explorathon 2015

Back in October, Stuart Jeffrey, (Research Fellow in Heritage), Laura Hundersmarck (International Heritage Visualisation intern), and Mhairi Maxwell (Research Developer for International Heritage Visualization) took part in the Explorathon event at the National Museum of Scotland.

3D printer in tow, they joined astronomers, chemists, physicists and fellow archaeologists to showcase some of the most cutting-edge discoveries and technologies available today, and presented work from the ACCORD project: an endeavour to co-create 3D-models of archaeological sites and monuments that has been travelling across Scotland to work with local communities.

They outlined their work by video here, and details about Explorathon, and the other fantastic projects presented there, can be found here.

DDS on the BBC World Service

A post by Daniel Livingstone, the DDS’ postgraduate programme leader

A few days ago I had the fantastic (and nerve-wracking) experience of live radio, on BBC Worldwide’s Click radio broadcast. And in front of a live audience in BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquaters! I sneakily took a photo of the audience before switching off my phone – just before the final group of audience members arrived. Standing room only at the back.

The audience, BBC Click
View of the audience at the live BBC Click recording

It felt like the programme was over almost as soon as it began – I had lots I wanted to say about the Scottish Ten and other DDS projects that I just didn’t manage. When pushed to answer in ten seconds how the data captured by the project is used, I somehow didn’t manage to give the example from Skara Brae, where Scottish Ten data from 2010 and data acquired by Historic Scotland in 2014 are being compared to help monitor the beach erosion that is threatening the site, and to help develop a management strategy to help protect this amazing world heritage site for future generations.

The podcast of the programme features some extra Q&A – and one of our PhD students, Jessica Argo, was able to discuss her project exploring the therapeutic use of ambisonic audio.

Getting to show the #bbcclickradio team around the DDS facilities before the programme was fun – and certainly less nerve-wracking. Gareth got to play with foley in the student recording studio, and then to experience a virtual Edinburgh in 3D – while only yards from BBC Scotland’s Glasgow headquarters.

You can listen to the programme here, or download the podcast with extra content from here (Podcast available until 12th March 2015).

ACCORD at the Theoretical Archaeology Group

In December Mhairi Maxwell was at the TAG (Theoretical Archaeology Group) conference with two presentations on the recent work of the ACCORD (Archaeology Community Co-Production of Research Data) project.

Doug Rocks-Macqueen was on hand to record some of the presentations for Recording Archaeology – below you can see Mhairi presenting a talk as part of the “OK Computer? Digital Public Archaeologies in Practice” session:

King of the Castle!

cross posted from the ACCORD blog, here

The Accord crew were on the road again this week and travelled back to Castlemilk where we met with Kenny Hunter, who is the artist responsible for ‘King of the Castle, and – we can proudly boast- a GSA alumni! Since it was erected in 1999, the artwork has enjoyed a rich and varied life – sometimes a proud Rangers supporter and other days a committed Celtic fan!! This rascal is much loved by the local community, and was chosen by the local ‘How Old Are Yew’ history group to be modelled in 3D. You can find a work-in-progress PDF of our 3D model in the attachment.

Jean Devlin, a member of the ‘How Old Are Yew’ group did a wee bit of extra research and wrote on the Castlemilk History facebook page:

The King of the Castle has had a wee restoration done on him just recently …
After further research by the Castlemilk History Group today, we found out that this was the caption which was on the original coating at the foot of “The King of The Castle”… “Somewhere in the distance is my Future”… It was written by a member of the Castlemilk writer’s group at the time, of which Des Dillon was the writer in residence …

King of the Castle by Kenny Hunter 1999
King of the Castle by Kenny Hunter 1999
Artist Kenny Hunter chatting to members of the How Old are Yew community group
Artist Kenny Hunter chatting to members of the How Old are Yew community group

KingoftheCastle2_3_11_14[1]

Watch this space for updates on the little King’s evolution in 3D!

 

Browse world heritage with CyArk

CyArk is an international non-profit organization which is aiming to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage sites before they are lost to natural disasters, destroyed by human aggression or ravaged by the passage of time.

The DDS, along with Historic Scotland through the CDDV partnership has been contributing to CyArk through The Scottish Ten project – digitising heritage sites here in Scotland and internationally.

This week, with help from Microsoft, CyArk relaunched their website with fantastic interactive views of many of the world heritage sites already digitised. The new site looks fantastic, and being able to browse many of the heritage sites in 3D right in the web-browser is a very nice touch. Also fantastic that all three projects featured on the home page are from The Scottish Ten – Mount Rushmore, Rani Ki Vav and the Sydney Opera House.

Browsing the projects, you’ll also find other Scottish Ten sites – Scottish sites including Stirling Castle, St. Kilda, neolithic Orkney. and a further international site – The Eastern Qing tombs in China.

Eastern Qing Tombs
Eastern Qing Tombs, China. Captured and modelled by CDDV (Historic Scotland and DDS, The Glasgow School of Art)

Go, browse, enjoy!

(And if you like this kind of thing… details on our International Heritage Visualisation course can be found here)

From Uist to the V&A! co-producing digital heritage with communities

The ACCORD project is working with communities all across Scotland to co-produce 3D models of their heritage using digital technologies. We also have our own blog, here!

ACCORD makes its debut at the V&A!

We were thrilled to have our prints featured at the Digital Design Weekend at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London from 20-21 September (an event organized as part of the London Design Festival). We are very proud of the work our community groups have achieved and delighted that their heritage has been brought to the world stage through participation in the Victoria and Albert museum’s fantastic weekend of digital culture celebrating co-design!

ACCORD 3D prints
Our ACCORD 3D prints sent down to the Digital Design Weekend at the V&A;  made by the climbers at Dumbarton Rock, Friends of the Glasgow Necropolis, Access Archaeology in the Uists, Ardnamurchan Community Archaeology group, and the Aberdeenshire based Rhynie Woman group.

 

Accord 3D prints on display in the V&A
3D prints made by ACCORD on display in the V&A.

Natural beauty in breathtaking Camas nan Geall

Picture of the Camas Nan Geall bay in Ardnamurchan.
The stunning bay of Camas Nan Geall on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, Scotland.

This is the stunning stretch of coastline where we had the privilege to spend a beautiful August weekend working with the dedicated members of the Ardnamurchan Community Archaeology Group. For a closer look at this pristine slice of Scottish coast, take a virtual peek at Kilchoan Village http://kilchoan.blogspot.co.uk

We explored an 18th century burial aisle in the heart of Camas nan Geall. Check out the wonders of RTI (or Reflectance Transformation Imaging in full) and see how an eroded skull and cross bones on a headstone, supposedly belonging to a Campbell, takes shape, made together with the Ardnamurchan Community Archaeology Group.

The Scientific explanation/RTI for rocket scientists… RTI is a computational photographic method that captures a subject’s surface shape and colour and enables the interactive re-lighting of the subject from any direction. RTI also permits the mathematical enhancement of the subject’s surface shape and colour attributes….

The no-nonsense explanation/RTI for humans… basically, get a £4 shiny black snooker ball, a tripod, and a light… using the movement of the light across the surface of the object the light bounces off the ball and the clever software combines the images to produce these amazing illuminated results – Eureka!

More info? Go to  http://culturalheritageimaging.or /What_We_Offer/Downloads/

The Rhynie Woman group bring the Pictish Craw Stane to digital life!

3D model of the Craw Stane
Snapshot of 3D Photogrammetry model of the Pictish Craw Stane made by the Rhynie Woman group in Aberdeenshire.

Manipulate the model yourself by downloading the PDF on our own ACCORD blog .

The Grimsay Wheelhouse, North Uist

In August 2014, ACCORD sallied forth to the Uists in the Outer Hebrides in order to immortalize in 3D this spectacular example of an Iron Age Wheelhouse dwelling. Together with the Access Archaeology community group, we first recorded the site with photos from the ground and the air using photogrammetry and then with a little help from Agisoft software we produced this awe-inspiring visualization!

And we didn’t just stop there … our next step was to bring the Grimsay Wheelhouse to life in the form of a 3D print – an exact 3D photogrammetric model of the Grimsay Wheelhouse replica to have and to hold!

3D print of the Grimsay Wheelhouse.
3D print of a photogrammetric model of the Iron Age wheelhouse at Grimsay, North Uist. Made by the Access Archaeology group.

ACCORD is one of eleven projects across the UK to be awarded funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s £4million “Digital Transformations in Community Research Co-Production” programme. Led by the Digital Design Studio of the Glasgow School of Art, the project it is being delivered in partnership with the University of Manchester Department of Archaeology, Archaeology Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Uncovering the past with Hidden Heritage

MSc International Heritage Visualisation student Clara Molina-Sanchez explored the use of different photography based techniques for the digitization of gravestones.

Working with Hidden Heritage and local community volunteers, Clara was interested in particular in methods accessible at low cost to local community groups that would be strong enough to support the digitization of gravestone and yet be powerful and accurate enough to help uncover hidden detail and support long term archive and conservation projects.

Her results were little short of breath-taking – for example, some of the stones are very badly weathered leaving almost none of the original inscriptions visible to the eye. This can be a significant challenge for heritage groups trying to identify the individuals buried below. Stone 28 at BallyHennan is one of the more badly weathered stones:

Stone 28 at BallyHennan graveyard
Stone 28 at BallyHennan graveyard

Using a method known as RTI (one of two methods Clara used in her project), using around 100 photos and a few hours of additional computer processing significant parts of the inscription suddenly appear:

After performing RTI parts of the inscription on stone 28 are readable
RTI image of Stone 28 at BallyHennan

You can read more about the Hidden Heritage project here.

Applications for the MSc in Heritage Visualisation for entry in September 2014 are still open… more details here.