- 3D modelling: Crossing traditional boundaries between different research areas
- 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures
- Book/source title
- 3D-Arch 2015 – 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures
- Book/source subtitle
- 25–27 February 2015, Avila, Spain
- Pages (from-to)
- The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences: 2194-9034
- Volume (Serie)
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (AHM)
It is the very nature of the archeological discipline to reconstruct the past. 3D modelling is the most recent development in the visualization of the archaeological interpretative process. Finally extra dimensions can be given to the past. Generating 3D models provide a vast amount of new information never foreseen: the advantage to move around and turn the reconstructions forces the specialist to reconsider the original data-set. New questions can be asked. Details cannot be ignored and uncertainties not smuggled away. But 3D models do not convey information themselves. It is the process towards the 3D model that does. It is the gathering of data and research to build the model and the choices that where made by the modellers and/or scholars (i.e. their agency) that conveys the information that leads to an interpretation. These interpretations can now be more comprehensive than ever because the extra dimension forces to look for anwers, and frequently these answers are outside the research area and even the field of the specialist. Therefore a 3D reconstruction may be regarded as the status-quo of what is known about a specific subject, from the excavated site to what French anthropologists might indicate about the role of the material culture associated with it. It is not the digital object that proves something by itself, but it is how we engage with the digital object in order to unravel how someone in the past might have engaged with it.
Therefore we cannot stress enough that – and we are certainly not the first - that 3D modelling is primarly a research tool, and not a theoretical paradigm nor an explanatory device on itself. But it has to be repeated because in our opinion too much emphasis is still put on either practical case-studies or highly complex, even unintelligible, theoretical contemplations. We stress that three-dimensional techniques are most valuable if used as a method to enhance and enrich any ongoing research. Nonetheless, we do not underestimate nor deny the power and potential of 3D modelling, on the contrary, but we might not consider 3D applications as an exclusive and distinct discipline, because then it risks that it becomes only restrictive. It is a transdisciplinary tool that compels to comprise knowledge from all disciplines: it forces specialists to move beyond their specialization and think spatially, they are forced to cross their traditional boundaries of research areas.
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