Oceans of Data Proceedings of the 44th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. 2018, 367-376
When interpreting and disseminating the localisation of Stone Age sites along the rugged coast of Norway, it is always pertinent to include knowledge about sea level at the time the various sites were in use. This is important for archaeological surveying and excavation, as well as mediation to the public at large. When one finds oneself on a Stone Age site a kilometre inland and in the thick of a dark forest, it is not easy to imagine what the place actually looked like six thousand years earlier when the site was in use by Neolithic people, and was part of a coastline exposed to the open sea. How can we take advantage of the current state-of-the-art in location-based media and mobile augmented reality in order to bring dynamic visualizations of the ancient landscape into the hands of both archaeologists and interested visitors? In this article, we report on the development and testing of a situated simulation where the user can move around in a given landscape and view a parallel simulation of the sea level from pre-historic times up to the present on a smartphone or tablet. The application uses an indirect augmented reality solution and the sea level/time-period can be altered continuously. When approaching a surveyed and/or excavated site, one can also observe its extent and via spatially positioned hypertext links, access the online databases for multimodal information about the findings. The prototype runs on iOS and has been tested with a small group of visitors on location. The article concludes with a discussion of the user evaluation and suggestions for further work.
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