Innovations in digital recording have caused the amount of data collected during modern archaeological excavations to dwarf that collected only a few years ago – let alone in the excavations of the previous century. The thoughtful integration of digital methods into the process (from excavation to publication) can assist in more complete recording and, just as importantly, meaningful presentation and dissemination of these data. The integration into the digital picture of data from prior excavations and campaign seasons, which may have been recorded in different formats and following different methodologies, is also important.
Digital publications, geospatial datasets, and 3D printed objects are examples of interactive approaches to this problem. This is can be taken a step further with immersion, as modern approaches like Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality allow us to create truly immersive experiences around the reconstruction, visualization, and presentation of data.
In archaeology, interaction and immersion can serve at least two purposes: (1) exhibition and display, which can include the digital supplements to publications and exhibits, physical reconstruction and replication, and virtual reconstruction of sites and artifacts, including those that no longer physically exist; and (2) the close examination of live datasets, which can run the gamut from database queries to the 3D rendering of archaeological data in situ for the purpose of discovery, analysis, and information sharing. Archaeological data in particular are well–suited to Augmented and Virtual Reality for both presentation and dataset exploration, as GIS points and associated finds, which are inherently three–dimensional, connote possible shapes, models, and textures.
This session is intended to foster discussion about the uses of interactive and immersive technologies both in the field, and in the presentation and analysis of objects and datasets. Its format will be a combination of interactive presentation and discussion, with a specific emphasis on demonstrations of 3D reconstruction, Virtual/Augmented and Mixed Reality experiences, online presentation, and other interactive and immersive approaches to excavation, recording, and dissemination. Our goal is to cultivate the community of practice and shared knowledge around these techniques and approaches, while working together to support the highest quality of research and dissemination of archaeological data in this digital age.