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Despoina Tsiafaki and Natasa Michailidou

Despoina Tsiafaki and Natasa Michailidou

The application of 3D digital technologies in the archaeological research expands more and more during the last decades. 3D recording, visualisation, representation and reconstruction of archaeological sites, monuments and artefacts become almost a common trend in the archaeological work. Moreover, CAD reconstructions, 3D simulation, computer animation and other uses of computer systems change the traditional workflow. The archaeological experience, though, recognizes these tools more for the general public in order to offer a visualisation of the target object than as a mechanism that can offer new possibilities for the research itself.

The focus of this article is to explore the opportunities given to the research field of archaeology by 3D technologies. Specifically the article will look into technologies regarding the 3D recording, processing, visualisation and representation of archaeological data. Through the use of specific case studies we will investigate how applications can contribute to the understanding first and the interpretation later on of a certain archaeological object. Issues such as the types of questions and problems that can be faced and answered with these 3D technologies will be raised and discussed. The possibility to get an expansion of the archaeological research in new aspects, as it happens with other technological tools (e.g. databases), will be also examined. In addition to these, the disadvantages and limitations of the application of these 3D technologies in the archaeological field will be also looked at, in order to accomplish a more complete view of its usage.

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