University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Back into Pleistocene waters
Augusto Palombini, Antonia Arnoldus Huydzendveld, Marco Di Ioia, Patrizia Gioia, Carlo Persiani, Sofia Pescarin

Last modified: 2012-01-17


The faster and faster development of technological tools and methodology in the domain of virtual archaeology raises new fundamental challenges such as, on the one hand, the need of new, original and fully immersive applications, on the other, of more effective ways to translate into such emotional representations the careful of the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental analysis in order to make it
visible by the public.
This paper focusses on the new virtual comunication system planned by the Institute of Technologies Applied to Cultural Heritage of Italian CNR, for the Pleistocenic Museum of Casal Dè Pazzi in Rome.
The Museum is built around a 40x10 mt pleistocenic floor consisting in the ancient
riverbed of the Aniene river, at about 200.000 bp, thus also containing the palaeoenvironmental records of such a phase (elephant tooth, plant
remains, etc.).
Starting from a detailed definition of the geomorphological and environmental conditions, the resulting data became the basis for a virtual reconstruction process carried on by the most advanced photorealistic terrain generator softwares, that led to the cut of highly impressive rendered movies.
The planned systems implies a four projector complex. One couple is targeted to the archaeological floor (the ancient river bed), to create on it, in the darkness and with immersive audio track, the waterflow effect of river refilling. The second projector couple is targeted to the front wall, to show an episode of every-day naenderthal life  in a fully reconstructed virtual environment.
The same scientific contents will also be used for a parallel application: a flash,
touchscreen-based, serious game on neanderthal life, targeted to childhood's learning.


virtual museums, digital storytelling, virtual archaeology, pleistocene, prehistory