Cyber-Archaeology: Notes on the simulation of the past

Maurizio Forte

Abstract

Thirteen years after the book “Virtual Archaeology” (Forte, 1996, 97) it is time to re-discuss the definition, the key concepts and some new trends and applications. The paper discusses the introduction of the term “cyber-archaeology” in relation with the simulation process deriving from the inter-connected and multivocal feedback between users/actors and virtual ecosystems. In this new context of cyber worlds, it is more appropriate to talk about simulation of the past rather than reconstruction of the past. The multivocality of the simulation opens new perspectives in the interpretation process, not imposing the final reconstruction, but suggesting, evocating, simulating multiple output, not “the past” but a potential past.

New epistemological models of cyber archaeology have to be investigated: what happens in a immersive environment of virtual archaeology where every user is "embodied” in the cyber space? The ontology of archaeological information, or the cybernetics of archaeology, refers to all the interconnective relationships which the datum produces, the code of transmission, and its transmittability. Because it depends on interrelationships, by its very nature information cannot be neutral with respect to how it is processed and perceived. It follows that the process of knowledge and communication have to be unified and represented by a single vector. 3D information is regarded as the core of the knowledge process, because it creates feedback, then cybernetic difference, among the interactor, the scientist and the ecosystem. It is argued that Virtual Reality (both offline and online) represents a possible ecosystem, which is able to host top-down and bottom-up processes of knowledge and communication. In these terms, the past is generated and coded by “a simulation process”. Thus, from the first phases of data acquisition in the field, the technical methodologies and technologies that we use, influence in a decisive way all the subsequent phases of interpretation and communication. In the light of these considerations, what is the relationship between information and representation? How much information does a digital model contain? What sorts of and how many ontologies ought to be chosen to permit an acceptable transmittability? Indeed, our Archaeological communication ought to be understood as a process of validation of the entire cognitive process of understanding and not as a simple addendum to research, or as a dispensable compendium of data.


Keywords

Cyber-archaeology; Interactivity

Full Text:

PDF

References

ANTINUCCI, A., 2004, Comunicare il museo, Laterza, Roma, 2004.

BAUDRILLARD J.. 1994, Simulacra and Simulation, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994. https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.9904

BATESON, 1967, “Cybernetic explanation”, in SEM, 410. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764201000808

BATESON, 1972, Steps to an Ecology of Mind , San Francisco, Chandler Press.

BATESON G., 1979, Mind and Nature. A Necessary Unit, Dutton, New York.

BIOCCA F. 1997, The cyborg’s dilemma: Progressive embodiment in virtual environments, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 3, n. 2, 1997. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.1997.tb00070.x http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ct.1997.617676

DELEUZE G., GUATTARI, F., 1987, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, University of Minnesota Press, 1987

FORTE, M. 1997, (ed. by) Virtual Archaeology, (forward by Colin Renfrew) Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1997 (1st edition 1996, Milan).

FORTE, M., 2000, About virtual archaeology: disorders, cognitive interactions and virtuality, in Barcelo J., Forte M., Sanders D., 2000 (eds.), Virtual reality in archaeology, Oxford, ArcheoPress (BAR International Series S 843), 247-263.

FORTE M., 2003, Mindscape: ecological thinking, cyber-anthropology, and virtual archaeological landscapes, in “The reconstruction of Archaeological Landscapes through Digital Technologies” (eds. M.Forte, P.R.Williams), Proceedings of the 1st Italy-United States Workshop, Boston, Massachussets, USA, November 1-3, 2001, BAR International Series 1151, Oxford, 2002, 95-108.

FORTE M., 2005, A Digital “Cyber” Protocol for the Reconstruction of the Archaeological Landscape: Virtual Reality and Mindscapes in Recording, Modeling and Visualization of Cultural Heritage (eds: E.Baltsavias, A.Gruen, L.Van Gool, M.Pateraki) Published by Taylor & Francis / Balkema ISBN 0 415 39208 X, 339-351, 2005.

FORTE et alii, 2006; M.Forte, S.Pescarin, E.Pietroni, C.Rufa, 2006, Multiuser interaction in an archaeological landscape: the Flaminia Project, in (M.Forte, S.Campana, eds.by) From Space to Place, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology, Rome, December 4-7, 2006, BAR International Series 1568, Archaeopress, Oxford, 2006, 189-196.

FORTE, M, Pescarin, S. Pietroni, E., 2006, Transparency, interaction, communication and open source in Virtual Archaeology, in (M.Forte, S.Campana, eds.by) From Space to Place, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology, Rome, December 4-7, 2006, BAR International Series 1568, Archaeopress, Oxford, 2006 535-540.

FORTE, M., 2007, Ecological Cybernetics, Virtual Reality and Virtual Heritage, in “Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage. A Critical Discourse” (Edited by Fiona Cameron and Sarah Kenderdine), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 389-407. http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262033534.003.0020

FORTE M., 2008 (ed.), La Villa di Livia. Un percorso di ricerca di archeologia virtuale, L’Herma, Rome, 2008.

GALLESE, V. 2005, Embodied simulation: From Neurons to Phenomenal Experience, “Phenomenology and the cognitive sciences”, 4, 23-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11097-005-4737-z

GIBSON, J. J., 1999. Un approccio ecologico alla percezione visiva (Il Mulino: Bologna).

INGOLD, T., 2000, The perception of the Enviroment. Essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill, London and New York, Routledge. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203466025

KORZYBSKI A., 1941, Science and Sanity, Science Press, New York, 1941.

MATURANA, H, Varela, F., 1980, Autopoiesis and Cognition: the Realization of the Living, Boston Studies in the philosophy of science, Cohen, Robert S., And Marx W. Wartofsky (eds.), vol. 42, Dordecht (Holland): D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1980. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-8947-4

MATURANA, H, Varela, F., 1992, The Tree of Knowledge: the Biological Roots of Human Understanding, Boston: Shambhala, 1987, (Revised Edition: same publisher, 1992).

MELLET-D'HUART D., 2006, A Model of (En)Action to approach Embodiment: A Cornerstone for the Design of Virtual Environments for Learning, in Win W. & Hedley N., Eds. Journal of Virtual reality, special issue on education. Springer London. Volume 10, Numbers 3-4 / December, 2006. Pp. 253-269. 2006. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-006-0038-2

Morganti, F. Riva, G. 2006, Conoscenza, comunicazione e tecnologia: Aspetti Cognitivi della RV, Milano: LED

Piaget, J. (1980). Adaptation and Intelligence. London: University of Chicago Press.

RICHARDSON, A. E., MONTELLO, D. & HEGARTY, M. 1999, Spatial knowledge acquisition from maps, and from navigation in real and virtual environments, in Memory & Cognition, 27, 741-750. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03211566

SCHROEDER, R., 1997, Networked Worlds: Social Aspects of Multi-User Virtual Reality Technology, Sociological Research Online, vol. 2, no. 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.5153/sro.291

TAYLOR, M.C. 2005, Il momento della complessità. L’emergere di una cultura in rete. Codice edizioni: Torino.

VARELA et al., 1991, VARELA, F., THOMPSON, E. - ROSCH, E. The Embodied Mind. Cognitive Science and Human Experience, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1991. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/6730.001.0001

VARELA F.J., 1999, “Quattro linee guida per il futuro della conoscenza”, in Argonauti nella Noosfera. Mente e cuore verso nuovi spazi di comunicazione, Vol. 2, strutture ambientali n.118/dicembre 1999, Atti della XXV ed. delle Giornate internazionali di studio promosse dal Centro Ricerche Pio Manzù.

WATZLAWICK, P. (ed.) (1985) The invented reality. New York, Norton.

WIENER, N., 1948, Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Technology Press; New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1948.

Abstract Views

2552
Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


 

Cited-By (articles included in Crossref)

This journal is a Crossref Cited-by Linking member. This list shows the references that citing the article automatically, if there are. For more information about the system please visit Crossref site

1. Interpretar la oscuridad: cuevas, arte rupestre y análisis de luz simulada mediante escenas virtuales
Camilo Barcia García, Alfredo M. Maximiano Castillejo
Virtual Archaeology Review  vol: 6  issue: 12  first page: 5  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4995/var.2015.4146



Creative Commons License

This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Universitat Politècnica de València

Official journal of Spanish Society of Virtual Archaeology

e-ISSN: 1989-9947   https://dx.doi.org/10.4995/var