Virtual Archaeology Review <p style="text-align: justify;">The <strong><em>Virtual Archaeology Review</em> (VAR)</strong> is an international web-based, open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Its focus is a mix of arts and engineering that research on the new field of virtual archaeology. The journal is broadly interdisciplinary, publishing works by scholars in the fields of conservation, documentation, 3D surveying, computer science, dissemination, gaming and other similar disciplines related to heritage and archaeology.</p> en-US <p><a href="" rel="license"><img src="" alt="Creative Commons License" /></a></p> <p>This journal is licensed under a <a href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License</a>.</p> (Prof. José Luis Lerma) (Administrador PoliPapers) Wed, 27 Jul 2022 09:40:42 +0200 OJS 60 Constructive analysis and digital 3D reconstruction of the Yuanmingyuan Ruins: Wanfanganhe Pavilion (China) <p class="VARKeywords">The destruction of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing after the sacking by Franco-British troops in 1860 has been an inestimable loss in the history of architecture, described by several authors as one of the wonders of Chinese architecture.</p><p class="VARKeywords">This paper presents the virtual reconstruction and geometrical analysis of the Universal Peace Pavilion for the Ancient Palace of Beijing. It is a unique project in the traditional Chinese architecture both in its form and in the combination of the wooden structural elements. At the present time, only the foundation platform remains.</p><p class="VARKeywords">In order to achieve a rigorous and accurate reconstruction, original sources from China and the Forbidden City Museum have been used, translating the ancient Chinese texts of the Qing dynasty and compiling the original existing documentation. The results include new unpublished documentation of the project.</p><p class="VARKeywords">The reconstruction of the Universal Peace Pavilion continues the efforts made by the "Mission Palais d'Eté" (Summer Palace Mission) between 1983 and 1985, carried out by the cooperation of French and Chinese researchers and architects. Recently, the "Cooperans" institution has resumed the research of the Old Summer Palace in order to strengthen the cultural links between Europe and China.</p><p class="VARKeywords">The digital reconstruction of the project makes it possible to visualize, analyse and understand a project of which only its ruins remain. By documenting the remains of the ancient ruins and exporting the Wanfanganhe Pavilion to a virtual reality system, it is possible to establish a link between Chinese architecture and the interested people, breaking down language barriers. The process of measuring, 3D modelling and translating the fundamental elements of traditional Chinese architecture has been carried out with precision to generate a model that represents an unforgettable part of the Chinese history. </p> Yan Chen, Federico Luis del Blanco García Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Thu, 09 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Data-driven conservation actions of heritage places curated with HBIM <p>Digital surveying tools provide a highly accurate geometric representation of cultural heritage sites in the form of point cloud data. With the recent advances in interoperability between point cloud data and Building Information Modelling (BIM), digital heritage researchers have introduced the Heritage/Historic Information Modelling (HBIM) notion to the field. As heritage data require safeguarding strategies to ensure their sustainability, the process is closely tied to conservation actions in the architectural conservation field. Focusing on the intersection of the ongoing trends in HBIM research and the global needs for heritage conservation actions, this paper tackles methodological pipelines for the data-driven management of archaeological heritage places. It illustrates how HBIM discourse could be beneficial for easing value-based decision-making in the conservation process. It introduces digital data-driven conservation actions by implementing a novel methodology for ancient building remains in Erythrae archaeological site (Turkey). The research ranges from a) surveying the in-situ remains and surrounding stones of the Heroon remains with digital photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning to b) designing a database system for building archaeology. The workflow offers high geometric fidelity and management of non-geometric heritage data by testing out the suitability and feasibility for the study of material culture and the physical assessment of archaeological building remains. This methodology is a fully data-enriched NURBS-based (non-uniform rational basis spline) three-dimensional (3D) model—which is integrated and operational in the BIM environment— for the holistic conservation process. Using a state-of-the-art digital heritage approach can be applied from raw data (initial stages) to decision-making about an archaeological heritage site (final stages). In conclusion, the paper offers a method for data-driven conservation actions, and given its methodological framework, it lends itself particularly well to HBIM-related solutions for building archaeology.</p> Tugba Saricaoglu, Gamze Saygi Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Tue, 19 Jul 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Ancient restorations: computer-based structural approach for the identification and reinterpretation of the Medracen’s constructive sequence <p>This paper addresses the importance of a structural approach for identifying and interpreting building chronology, as well as for the establishment of historical stratigraphy. Through structural analyses, carried out on the oldest extant royal mausoleum in North Africa, the Medracen (4<sup>th</sup>-3<sup>rd</sup> century BC), located in eastern Algeria, it has been possible to identify building sequences and structural characteristics; a reinterpretation of its constructive sequence within a specific historical context was also suggested. A static linear Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis was performed on a simplified 3D model conceived with solid elements to assess the structural behaviour of the structure under the effect of its self-weight and to identify, consequently, its construction sequence. The equilibrium approach was effective in identifying the structure’s geometry. Results show that Medracen’s ancient restoration was a strengthening intervention strategy and had a symbolic aim related to the function of the funerary building. Restoration works, consisting of repairing specific parts of the building and adding an external cladding, as a whole architectural entity, contributed to reducing the effect of tensile stress, therefore, stabilizing the inner core. Besides, this same action was a means for the Numidian elite to transform an ancient monumental burial (<em>sepulchrum</em>) into a monument (<em>monumentum</em>) with cultural significance likely to convey socio-political messages relating to power and sovereignty. Therefore, we can speak of an “evolutionary restoration” that reflects the ambitions of the Numidian elite to become part of the Mediterranean orbit.</p> Lamia Amokrane, Tsouria Kassab, Juan Monjo-Carrio Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Fri, 10 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Geospatial integration in mapping pre-Hispanic settlements within Aztec empire limits <p>Mexico’s vast archaeological research tradition has increased with the use of remote sensing technologies; however, this recent approach is still costly in emerging market economies. In addition, the scales of prospection, landscape, and violence affect the type of research that heritage-culture ministries and universities can conduct. In Central Mexico, researchers have studied the pre-Hispanic Settlement Pattern during the Mesoamerican Postclassic (900-1521 AD) within the scope of the Aztec Empire and its conquests. There are settlements indications before and during the rule of the central empire, but the evidence is difficult to identify, particularly in the southwest of the capital, in the transition between the Lerma and Balsas River basins and their political-geographical complexities. This research focuses on a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based processing of multiple source data, the potential prospection of archaeological sites based on spatial data integration from Sentinel-2 optical sensors, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Digital Terrain Model (DTM), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and field validation. What is revealed is the relationship between terrain morphologies and anthropic modifications. A binary map expresses possible archaeological remnants as a percentage; NDVI pixels and the morphometry values were associated with anthropic features (meso-reliefs with a tendency to regular geometries: slope, orientation, and roughness index); they were then interpreted as probable archaeological evidence. Within archaeological fieldwork, with limited resources (time, funding and staff), this approach proposes a robust method that can be replicated in other mountainous landscapes that are densely covered by vegetation.</p> Raúl Miranda-Gómez, Héctor V. Cabadas-Báez, Xanat Antonio-Némiga, Norma Dávila-Hernández Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Andean pre-Hispanic pottery forming 3D analysis: a pilot study from Quebrada de Humahuaca (Argentina) using digital methods <p>Digitization, three-dimensional (3D) documentation and visualization of archaeological materials are processes in increasing development that are used for the enhancement of heritage. These tools have multiple uses for the analysis and research of archaeological objects, although their use in pottery forming techniques studies is less explored. In this paper, diverse digital methods are explored in the study of pottery forming macro-traces, using the 3D model of an archaeological vessel from South-Central Andes. This case is proposed as a pilot study, aiming to reveal the potential of digital techniques for understanding pottery forming techniques. The particular case analysed corresponds to a globular pot of the Humahuaca Black-on-Red style, recovered at the <em>Pucara de Volcán</em> archaeological site, in Quebrada de Humahuaca (Jujuy, Argentina). Initial studies of macro-traces on the pot suggested the use of paddling as the forming technique. The workflow used to contrast this hypothesis included the generation of a 3D model by close-range photogrammetry; and the analysis of the resulting point-cloud and mesh using Morphological Residue Model (MRM) and Virtual Reflectance Transformation Imaging Visualization (V-RTI), with diverse open-source software packages, such as AliceVision Metashape and CloudCompare. These methods increased the micro-topography visibility of the pot surface. As a result, the presence of sub-circular depressions in the body of the pot -similar to percussion cupules-, horizontal pressure lines in the collar, and micro-pull-outs in the maximal diameter of the pot were described. These macro-traces were interpreted as corresponding to the paddling technique used for the elaboration of the pot body —a technique not previously identified in pre-Hispanic traditional pottery manufacturing in the north of Argentina—, and of coiling for manufacturing the collar. The digital methods explored have great potential in the study of pottery forming techniques, although their scope depends on the accuracy of the 3D model analysed. </p> Agustina Scaro Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Thu, 21 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Modelling the landscape: iconography, and visual and sound perceptions in Macroschematic rock art <p>Since the 1980s different approaches have been followed to analyse the spatial distribution of rock art shelters and their relationship to the construction of social landscapes by prehistoric societies. These approaches focus on finding out the clues that shelters offer as to how symbolic landscapes were structured or whether these were chosen following visual preferences. Previous work on post-Palaeolithic art in the Iberian Peninsula has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool for analysis. However, sometimes, the results obtained reveal some contradictions, which could be linked to either the low resolution of the cartography available when those models were designed or to the random treatment of data.</p> <p>This paper attempts to overcome these contradictions by focusing on macroschematic rock art (ARM, in its Spanish acronym), an artistic manifestation with a well-defined geographical location —north of the province of Alicante (Spain)— and chronological framework —Cardial Early Neolithic; ca. 5600-5200 cal BC—. In order to analyse the symbolic and sensory landscapes generated around this artistic manifestation, different scales of analysis (<a href="#Chippindale">Chippindale, 2004</a>) have been implemented.</p> <p>Firstly, a new typology of macroschematic motifs based on an iconographic analysis is proposed. For this purpose, four major motif types are considered: anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, curvilinear geometric and minor motifs. This categorization allows for a better understanding of the semantics of this manifestation (<a href="#Hernández_Pérez_2003">Hernández Pérez, 2003</a>), which draws significant parallels with other Neolithic manifestations in the Mediterranean area.</p> <p>Secondly, the spatial location of each rock art shelter is studied, with special attention to the quantity and variety of motifs represented in each one of them. This work has resulted in the observation of a different distribution of certain motifs. It has also revealed a different concentration in the number and variety of motifs in certain shelters that can be considered sanctuaries.</p> <p>Lastly, a set of GIS analytical tools have been applied to model the visual and sound perception of and from the macroschematic rock art shelters. To avoid distortions as identified in similar reconstructions carried out in previous works a prior assessment of the cartographic requirements has been made. Regarding the visibility issue, the methodology of the GIS analysis conducted has been finetuned by adding the following factors: visual field and range. For its modelling, the Individual Distance Viewshed tool designed by <a href="#Fábrega">Fábrega-Álvarez &amp; Parcero-Oubiña (2019</a>) for ESRI ArcGis 10.5 has been used. In the analysis of sonority variables related to musicality, as documented in the archaeological and anthropological record, alongside technical issues associated with the propagation of sound in outdoor spaces, have been considered. For the GIS study of sound propagation Sound Mapping Tools v. 4.4 for ESRI ArcGis 10.5 (<a href="#Reed_2012">Reed et al., 2012</a>) has been applied. This analytical work has permitted the mapping of sensory-related aspects for each site, thus facilitating a cross-site comparative analysis which has ultimately led to the identification of interesting recurrences and differences.</p> <p>This systematic and orderly analysis proposed has resulted in a holistic approach to the study of an artistic phenomenon as specific and unique as is macroschematic rock art. Based on the results obtained, the existence of a social landscape articulated around this artistic manifestation, in which each shelter could have played a different although complementary role, can be claimed. In this sense, we propose the existence of "main sanctuaries" that could have played an important role as social gathering spaces where visual and sound messages were conveyed. Moreover, "secondary sanctuaries" may be related to the movement of communities through the landscape and, especially, to the paths leading to the central sanctuary of Pla de Petracos (Castell de Castells, Alicante, Spain).</p> <p>The results of the research conducted offer a new and richer interpretation of how the communities that painted the macroschematic rock art perceived the landscape in which they lived. The importance of approaching symbolic landscapes through the prior analysis of rock art, especially of its iconographic variety, but also its internal sequence, should be emphasized. It can be concluded that the procedure followed has allowed the creation of new methodological bases for the study of other symbolic manifestations related to the social articulation of prehistoric landscapes.</p> Gabriel García Atiénzar, Virginia Barciela González, Neemías Santos da Rosa, Margarita Díaz-Andreu Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Tue, 10 May 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Digital technology to locate the water catchment system of the Cuadrado Fountain in Montilla (Cordoba, Spain) in the 19th century <p>The fortuitous discovery of part of the pipeline system that supplied the town of Montilla (Spain) in the late 19th century, which was made in September 2017 by the city’s fire service, originated an academic study in this regard. The engineer José Marí­a Sánchez-Molero y Lleguet designed this canalization, from the fountain of the “Cuadrado” to some tanks located in the “water’s house” (Montilla) in 1868. There are no remains of these constructions, except those found by the firefighters. The aim of this study is to collect, analyse and interpret all the existing graphic and documentary evidence in this regard, perform a 3D modelling of the catchment system at the fountain based on the compiled documentation and determine the terrain’s topography. Indeed, the virtual location on the digital model of the terrain based on the plans of Sánchez-Molero can help archaeologists to discover the true location, highlighting the suitability and usefulness of this research work.</p><p>The catchment system designed and executed by Sánchez-Molero is a system of ditches. These are made up of a series of ditches filled with gravel, arranged according to the slope in the shape of a herringbone, surrounding the fountain of Cuadrado (perfectly represented in the plan of Sánchez-Molero). Moreover, there is another main ditch attached to the wall of the dam. The system was designed to capture the waters of the fountains or runoff water from the adjoining orchards. It is a system based on gravel-filled trenches with no drainage pipes at the bottom, which could have led to its depletion, due to the possible cementation of spaces between gravels. For this reason, in 1902, other sources were sought, as the water of the Cuadrado was scarce. The system, in addition to the drains and the dam wall, consists of a container or collector, from which the water comes out through the fountain, and through a pipe located on one side of said container.</p><p>The catchment system is arranged along with a road system that is also indicated in the map of Sánchez-Molero. This distribution of roads still exists today. Therefore, the modelled system on the real scale can be oriented in the digital terrain model (DTM) of the corresponding plot. The location of the Cuadrado coincides with a well that currently exists. The study of the slopes and the runoff water flow lines coming from the fountains suggests that, in this arrangement of the catchment system, the drains intercept the course of water coming from all the upwelling areas, where the slope is steep (8-12%), i.e. twice as steep as in the high areas and orchards, where the average slope is 3-6%.</p><p>The location in the plan and on the terrain profile of the pipe that carried the water from the outlet of the Cuadrado reservoir to the water house was analysed. The water rise was found to be produced by the communicating vessels effect, due to the coincidence of the heights of the terrain. From there, the water was pumped to the water house. There was the register, located at the lowest point of elevation in the stream, currently called Cuadrado, and the stopcock, where the Flauta Fountain is located today. The pipeline follows the route of the Manantiales (which means “water springs” in Spanish).</p><p>The obtained results can help archaeologists to know the true location of the Cuadrado fountain, and disseminate the cultural hydric heritage of Montilla, promoting touristic routes. Water resource tourism is already a reality in many cities, including Montilla. The cultural dissemination of water resources is supported by various institutions, through the routes and the many sources and watering holes that the town owns. Among these routes, we can mention the long route of the fountains of Montilla. This route runs along the path of the Manantiales, following the pipeline map of Sánchez-Molero, which passes through the water house, the Flauta Fountain and the Cuadrado Fountain. The results of this work allow culturally the enhancement of this route.</p><p class="VARTableCaption"> </p> Pilar Carranza-Cañadas, Manuel Baena-Sánchez, Rafael Hidalgo Fernández, Paula Triviño-Tarradas Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Mon, 17 Jan 2022 00:00:00 +0100 The recovery of the terra sigillata seals from the Roman ceramic workshop of Isturgi (Los Villares de Andújar, Jaén, Spain) from their digitalization, reconstruction and 3D printing <p class="VARAbstract"><em><span lang="EN-US">Terra sigillata</span></em><span lang="EN-US"> is one of the most important and well-known ceramic types of the Roman Empire. These tableware productions began to become generalized from the 1<sup>st</sup> century AD, characterized by the habitual presence of what is known as <em>sigillum</em>, a kind of stamped mark that identified the pottery (‘<em>officina’</em>)<em> </em>where they were produced. Currently, the information given by the stamps on vessels becomes one of the main sources for the reconstruction of the social and economic structure of terra sigillata manufacture.</span></p><p class="VARAbstract"><span lang="EN-US">In the case of the terra <em>sigillata produced</em> in the Iberian Peninsula, both the smooth-walled and the decorated vessels are distinguished by habitually incorporating this rubric/signature, which was made using a stamp-punch. While in smooth-walled vessels this rubric is usually located on the inner bottom of the container, in the case of decorated one, which used to be produced using negative ceramic moulds; the dynamics can be somewhat more complex. At any rate, and unlike the ceramic itself, which becomes a very common object in the archaeological context, the instruments with which these productions used to be marked are very difficult to find. Indeed, they are very rare elements in archaeological excavations or museum collections. An example of this dynamic is the pottery district of Isturgi (Los Villares de Andújar, Jaén, Spain), which became an important producer of <em>terra sigillata</em> around the 1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> centuries AD. In this large potter complex, despite numerous systematic excavation campaigns since the early 1970s, no original stamp-punch has been recovered yet.</span></p><p class="VARAbstract"><span lang="EN-US">In this regard, the strong development of tools for digitization, analysis, virtual reconstruction and new printing devices has brought important benefits for the study of archaeological heritage in general and ceramic studies in particular. Technologies that, although most of them are already well established in our discipline, continue to generate novel results of great scientific interest. However, to take full advantage of their potential, these technologies should not be used in isolation, but must be combined in synergistic methodological flows that we can carry out from the joint use of various computer software. Only in this way, we can effectively recreate elements and objects that, due to their intrinsic value or the fragility of their nature, do not usually appear in the archaeological record.</span></p><p class="VARAbstract"><span lang="EN-US">In the present work, a new methodological workflow is proposed through which to obtain data that would allow the coherent reconstruction of the appearance and operation of these fragile instruments. With this objective in mind, we made a selection of nine smooth-walled vessels of <em>terra sigillata </em>isturgitana in which the potters had recorded their work by means of epigraphic and anepigraphic marks. For this reason, various computerized procedures were applied in a systematic way to each of these selected case studies. First, Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry for digitizing these <em>sigilla</em>. Second, computational photography methods such as Virtual Reflectance Transformation Imaging (V-RTI) or raster images such as Digital Elevation Maps (DEM) to improve the visualization of the most deteriorated rubrics. Third, digital modelling and sculpting to generate reliable reconstructive hypotheses of a digital nature. Finally, we use Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), the most common 3D printing method, to materialize these results into high-resolution and low-cost polylactic acid (PLA) replicas.</span></p><p class="VARAbstract"><span lang="EN-US">Through all this workflow described in the previous lines, we not only seek the generation of new data that will benefit the archaeological discipline, but that all this knowledge also results in a direct benefit for the bulk of society. Jointly, the technologies of digitization and rapid prototyping have proven to be extremely useful tools for making archaeological heritage truly accessible to everyone, regardless of the situation, needs or geographic location.</span></p> Alexis Maldonado Ruiz, Alberto Dorado Alejos, María Isabel Fernández García Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Fri, 11 Feb 2022 00:00:00 +0100 Applying a GIS to the underwater archaeology of Menorca <p>A Geographic Information System (GIS), as a software used to integrate and relate spatial variables, has tools which are widely used in archaeology, either on the land surface, to analyse the spatial distribution of artefacts/settlements, or on the marine subsurface, to explore and analyse underwater elements, providing valuable data.</p> <p>The Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) Archaeological Chart of underwater references currently consists of 285 elements that correspond to wrecks, anchorages and isolated finds from different chronological periods. The developed GIS was intended to define for the next few years the lines of research that can be promoted, as well as to recommend the vestiges that deserve to be protected.</p> <p>The Department of Culture of the Menorca Insular Council has, among its priority lines, the knowledge related to the underwater archaeology of the island; a primary objective list includes preserving, protecting, investigating and disseminating it. With this purpose, in recent decades, projects and works have been promoted aimed at knowing more precisely about the submerged archaeological heritage, drawing up inventories and charts that have been inserted in the Underwater Menorca Archaeological Map.</p> <p>The GIS project was developed to structure and analyse the information that can be extracted from the archaeological map, relating to the themes that have been incorporated from the variety of factors affecting the geophysical and environmental aspects associated with the Menorca maritime archaeology.</p> <p>This study focused on developing the information from the underwater archaeological map, and providing the most likely areas with findings for future surveys and research, shown as optimal areas. The archaeological chart was georeferenced and digitised into a shapefile layer to create a geographical database that could be managed in the ArcGis software. Environmental conditions of the Menorca underwater, such as wind direction, wind speed, meteotsunamis, underwater geology and oceanic currents, were analysed and spatially related using the GIS to predict potential best areas for the anchorage process.</p> <p>An approximation to a shoreline reconstruction (for 1000 BC period) was conducted through palaeoenvironmental interpretation, considering geomorphological features from aerial photography, erosion rates and variations in the past sea levels. Thanks to the GIS analyses, it was possible to define both the excellent conditions of some marine areas that were probably used as anchorages since ancient times, and the most likely coastline of the island that may offer new underwater remains. The analysis was adjusted to the landscape reconstruction, which was also helpful for establishing those certain optimal areas, but according to the territorial features estimated for various periods.</p> <p>Based on the spatial analysis of the archaeological chart underwater elements and on the analysis of optimal areas, possible anchorage places have been established, such as <em>Ses Fontanelles</em>, <em>La Mola de Fornells</em> and <em>Cala Tamarells, </em>where punic remains could be found. A series of areas with a higher probability of locating new underwater remains have been determined.</p> <p>The northern shore area, from <em>Cap de Favaritx</em> to <em>Illes Bledes</em>, was classified as the best area for finding new underwater remains. Inner bays such as <em>Addaia, Favaritx </em>or <em>Fornells</em> were the second-best area for finding remains.</p> <p>Stagnant waters areas, like <em>Albufera d'es Grau</em> or <em>Cala’n Bosch</em>, would deserve special recognition and surveys since it is possibly one of the most inhabited areas north of the port of <em>Mahón</em>, due to the natural resources that lie in this territory.</p> <p>The GIS analysis of the findings distribution supported by palaeoenvironmental research appears to be a promising approach for underwater analysis; it provides reasonable estimations for future surveys. Constant underwater archaeological map updating and, consequently, completing the analysis of this study should be done periodically in order to classify newly surveyed areas.</p> Fernando Contreras Rodrigo, Adrián Fernández Sánchez Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review Mon, 25 Jul 2022 00:00:00 +0200