VITA ANTIQUA, ISSN 2522-9419 (Online), 2519-4542 (Print)
Center for Paleoethnological Research
VITA ANTIQUA 10, 2018, Prehistoric Networks in Southern and Eastern Europe, 165-175
Archaeological excavations and reconstructions of disappeared archaeological heritage (based on excavations in North-Western Russia)
Mazurkevich Andrey¹, Dolbunova Ekaterina¹, Ottonello Luca²
¹ The State Hermitage Museum
² University of Reading
Archaeological excavations allow us to investigate archaeological heritage, but at the same time, they lead to its destruction. Multi-layer archaeological sites, which were settled during multiple stages of occupation and include several cultural horizons, represent a number of events. Their “decoding” is possible only by application of various methods – archaeological, natural-scientific, as well as the use of virtual modelling. Archaeological excavations allow tracing of different stages of people inhabitation, whereas digital reconstruction gives the possibility to visualize these stages and reconstruct disappeared archaeological heritage, destroyed in the course of people activity during long time. In this case archaeological field documentation, precise recording, further researches and reconstructions based on them are tightly interrelated.
Combination of different methods gives the potential of preserving and telling the stories in a way that was never possible before; creating time pictures of explorable areas with an unprecedented level of detail by using animation and reconstruction methods, which could finally contribute a lot to interpretation of the sites. Computer-based visualisation seeks to represent the existing state, an evidence-based restoration or a hypothetical reconstruction of a cultural heritage object or site, and the extent and nature of any factual uncertainty. Such a combination of methods was applied during researches of Neolithic sites in North-Western Russia, in Dnepr-Dvina region. Analysis made in Dnepr-Dvina area allowed making virtual reconstructions of several sites, tracing particularities of artefacts deposition and cultural layers formation, identifying particularities of paleoenvironmental situation during different periods and finally visualization of ancient sites.
Key words: virtual reconstructions, digital archaeology, North-Western Russia, 3D modelling, archaeological excavations