Getting to the point: making, wayfaring, loss and memory as meaning-making in virtual archaeology

William Michael Carter

Abstract

The initial construction of a digital virtual object is the three-dimensional (3D)point. Using the notions of making, wayfaring, meshwork and agency, this discussion focuses on Ingold’s (2011) theoretical approach to these comments as a means for the construction of archaeological knowledge as applied to the 3D virtual landscape. It will demonstrate that 3D points, whether constructed or captured, can be considered to be agents within an actor network, have agency and are subject to memory and loss within the digital archaeological record. By their interconnections they become a mesh work that can exchange and retain unique attributes of materiality. As such, they challenge our notions of meaning-making beyond the rote actions of visualizing within archaeology to a form that is more theoretically deeper. By viewing the construction and capture and the production of 3D or 2D visual data through a different lens but within theoretical archaeological terms, we can begin to understand our role in the creation of meaning within virtual archaeology.

Keywords

virtual archaeology; digital archaeology; 3D modelling; making; wayfaring; agency

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Universitat Politècnica de València

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