Photo-realistic visualisation of archaeological sites

Alan Chalmers

(University of Bristol)

A great deal of evidence exists for a variety of activities at most archaeological sites. However, the interpretation of these activities, even using the archaeological finds of elaborate ritual architecture, specific furniture and artefacts, is difficult without a complete and flexible three dimensional reconstruction of their context. Recent developments in computer graphics have made it possible to "construct" virtual environments on a computer and view photo-realistic images of these scenes. It is possible, therefore, to recreate an archaeological site on a computer and provide the viewer with a representation of the site as it may have appeared to the original inhabitants. This experience will be enhanced by the photo-realism of the computer model including accurate illumination and the presence of environmental and climatic factors such as flame, smoke, dust or fog. The calculation of such photo-realism is very computationally intense and so parallel processing is necessary in order to produce the images in reasonable times.

This seminar will discuss computer graphic and parallel processing techniques that are being developed to enable archaeologists to evaluate hypotheses concerning ritual performances, utilisation, structure, contents and development of important heritage sites.
Tuesday 30th January 1996, 14:30
Seminar Room 322
Department of Computer Science