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The Sen-nedjem Project: Archaeology, Virtual Reality and Education

Terras, M; (1999) The Sen-nedjem Project: Archaeology, Virtual Reality and Education. Archaeological Computing Newsletter , 53 4 - 10. Green open access

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Abstract

Virtual reality, interactive computer generated sites and scenarios, theoretically creates great opportunities for archaeology, history, and education. Immersive computer driven environments impart information regarding space and human experience that would not be possible using traditional means of representation. Places and structures too remote, dangerous or deteriorated to visit can be experienced, and virtual models can provide the context in which to understand other complex issues surrounding an environment. In the past the technology required to produce such virtual 'worlds' has been expensive and complex, but Internet developments in the last few years have provided the means to generate three-­‐dimensional interactive worlds cheaply and quickly. VRML, Vi rtual Reality Modelling Language, allows anyone to easily build 3D computer models of objects and places without specialised equipment, and more and more virtual archaeological models are becoming available on the Internet. However, few of these models have been evaluated to assess their educational or archaeological worth. The Sen-­‐nedjem Project, undertaken at the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute, University of Glasgow, Scotland, between May and October 1998, investigated the success of an archaeological virtual reality model for use in a museum context by building an interactive computer model of an Egyptian tomb based on pre-­published archaeological evidence and testing this model with a view to installing it in the Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow. The project illustrates that although it is technically possible to create an archaeologically sound virtual reality display there is a lack of meaning and purpose intrinsic to virtual models which complicate their educational value, an issue that needs to be resolved before virtual archaeological reconstructions become commonly used for pedagogical purposes.

Type: Article
Title: The Sen-nedjem Project: Archaeology, Virtual Reality and Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://soi.cnr.it/archcalc/acn/53.html
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Centre for Editing Lives and Letters
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/171173
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