Virtualization, 3D Technologies, and the Democratization of Archaeological Research

Author(s): Herbert Maschner

Year: 2016


The promise of the information age is access to data. Advances in online data availability have permeated nearly every scientific and humanities field providing access to unprecedented quantities of research materials. But the key missing element in archaeological (and paleontological research) is access to the material remains that are key to investigating the past. Because of logistical barriers, conservation concerns, conditions of ownership, or other factors limiting access, many of the most important collections are unavailable for study. New developments in 3D scanning, visualization, and database development have made the concept of virtual repositories, complete with on-screen analytical tools, a viable option. New projects in North America, the Arctic, and across the Mediterranean are transforming the analysis of material remains by participating in the global Democratization of Science Project. This project aims to put entire collections online in the form of virtual repositories so that anyone, anywhere, can conduct their own analyses and create their own results. Here new methods of virtualization and new on-screen analytical tools are presented.

Cite this Record

Virtualization, 3D Technologies, and the Democratization of Archaeological Research. Herbert Maschner. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403433)