THE STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM
(Methods and benets)
Proceedings of the Second International Conference
held at the State Hermitage Museum
1–3 June 2015
The State Hermitage Publishers
Материалы Второй Международной конференции,
состоявшейся вГосударственном Эрмитаже
1–3 июня 2015 года
Издательство Государственного Эрмитажа
Печатается по решению
Программный комитет конференции:
П. Рейли (Великобритания)
М. Форте (США)
И. Лирицис (Греция)
Ф. Николучи (Италия)
В. Нойбауэр (Австрия)
А. Ю. Алексеев
Виртуальная археология (эффективность методов) : материалы Второй Международ-
ной конференции, состоявшейся 1–3 июня 2015 года вГосударственном Эрмитаже / Госу-
дарственный Эрмитаж. – СПб. : Изд-во Гос. Эрмитажа, 2015. – с. : ил.
Первая Международная конференция по виртуальной археологии была организована Отделом
археологии Восточной Европы и Сибири Государственного Эрмитажа (Санкт-Петербург, Российская
Федерация) в 2012 году. На конференции впервые были установлены связи между специалистами,
работающими в разных странах. Активную роль в подготовке следующей конференции «Виртуаль-
ная археология» сыграли Государственный Эрмитаж и АДИТ (Некоммерческое партнёрство по авто-
матизации музейной деятельности и новым информационным технологиям), обеспечившие работу
тематического информационного ресурса www.virtualarchaeology.ru. Цели второй конференции
заключались в обсуждении методик, применяемых в виртуальной археологии, постановке задач
ипредставлении результатов исследований.
Проект выполнен при поддержке Благотворительного фонда В. Потанина в рамках программы
Издание предназначено для археологов и специалистов по информационным технологиям.
На обложке: логотип конференции
«Виртуальная археология», автор Д. Ю. Гук
© Авторы, тексты, иллюстрации, 2015
© Государственный Эрмитаж, 2015
3D-ДОКУМЕНТЫ: ДОСТУПНОСТЬ МЕТАДАННЫХ
METADATA AND THEIR ACCESSIBILITY
V. Barneche Naya, l. Hernández Ibáñez
University of Coruña, Spain
FROM THE DIG TO CYBERSPACE. A CASE STUDY OF VIRTUAL
WORLDS AS ATOOL FOR INTERPRETATION CENTERS
Interpretation centers have become avery adequate and viable solution for eective
communication of heritage information in municipalities and rural areas which lack the
resources for establishing atraditional, full-scale museum, and where heritage can be an
important factor for tourism development.
Unlike traditional museums, interpretation centers do not usually aim at collecting,
conserving and studying objects; they are specialized institutions for communicating the
signicance and meaning of heritage. They work to educate and raise awareness.
Many studies have demonstrated the capabilities of virtual worlds to enhance the
learning process at all educational levels. Some of them, including previous works by the
authors of this paper, come to the same conclusion in ascenery involving museums and
schools for telepresential visits (Barneche 2014).
Although there are numerous cases of the use of heritage reconstruction in virtual
worlds (Harrison 2009; Sequeira 2013; Barneche 2010), few examples can be found in the
context of areal museum, like the case of Villa Livia (Forte 2008). The present work deals
with the design of adedicated, OpenSim based virtual world as a part of a real exhibi-
tion taking place in asmall interpretation center: the Museum of the Mosaic of Casariche
(Spain) devoted to the mosaics found in the dig of the Roman villa of El Alcaparral (4th –
5th century AD).
The virtual model was intended to accomplish two objectives. On the one hand, it
should display acomplete recreation of the mosaics found in the nearby excavation, allow-
ing the visitors to contemplate the appearance of the pavements in their full size instead
of just fragments. On the other hand, the villa model should be designed to act as built-in
environment that could provide context for the interpretation of the mosaics.
This work has been carried out in two phases; the rst one consisted of the construction
of the virtual model to be used for virtual exhibitions and activities, and the second one
included all aspects of virtual musealization.
2. 1. Construction of the virtual model
Reconstruction of the mosaics:
The mosaics to be displayed can be separated into two groups. The rst one includes
those formed solely by geometrical motifs. Here, the modular and repetitive characteris-
tics of the formal structure of the drawings allowed to easily obtain apossible full version
Geometrical mosaic in the atrium of the impluvium and reconstruction.
(photos from the intervention Report – above-and from the virtual world – below)
“The Judgment of Paris” mosaic (photos from the Intervention Report –
above, and from the virtual world – below)
of every original design. Patterns were repeated, in search of acoherent formal structure
for every case in accordance with the dimensions and shape of every room. Apart from
possible unknown irregularities or unexpected lost elements that could break the homo-
geneity of the design in the original mosaic, the reconstructed versions oer an image of
every mosaic that would correspond approximately to the appearance of those ancient
pavements (g. 1).
The second group of mosaics is composed of those containing gurative designs. There
were three mosaics in this group, in dierent states of preservation. The mosaic depicting
the “Judgment of Paris” (g. 2) was almost complete and only needed afew retouches to
obtain its virtual replica.
The second one, called “The Spring”, mosaic lacked alarge part of the face of the person
represented, however the characteristics of the shape of the human face permitted to re-
construct it fairly well (g. 3).
The third case, the mosaic that covered the bottom of the impluvium, was almost com-
pletely lost and only small parts were extant. Nevertheless, those parts indicated clearly
that the original design depicted ascene containing two Nereids riding aTriton.
The detailed formal analysis of the remaining fragments revealed multiple similarities
with other mosaics of the same age and similar theme found in excavations located in
neighboring regions. That made the authors consider agreat inuence or even acommon
school authorship that might induce to think that the motif depicted in the original mosaic
could be very similar. Hence, the scene was fully reconstructed, and the clear character of
“The Spring” mosaic in the virtual world
hypothesis of such reconstruction was indicated in the associated explanatory panel that
oats over the element. Moreover, the virtual version helps understand the frequent use of
marine scenes in impluvia and other hydraulic elements (g. 4).
Finally, ageneric mosaic was designed to be used in the rooms that presented more
uncertainty in their layout, as ameans to mark them as the most hypothetic part of the
interpretation of the house.
Reconstruction of the villa:
In order to facilitate abetter comprehension of late Roman architecture, the three-di-
mensional representation of this villa olearia which was made for this project tries to be
as accurate as possible, based on all the data obtained from the archaeological dig, but
considering the fact that the remains are neither abundant nor well preserved. Addition-
ally, the authors interpreted the historical and ethnographical data available and analyzed
other nearby villas olearias that present asimilar terrain organization based on terraces of
the same period as the villa vinicola of Fuente Alamo and the villa agricola of Villaricos.
Other reconstruction criteria for the making of the model were based on the current
archaeological thought named Archaeology of Architecture (Steadman 1996; Azkarate
2002). This discipline provides analytical models and methodological tools that contrib-
ute signicantly to the study of dierent dimensions of the built space. This work used
the constructive analysis to obtain the characteristics of the domestic architecture of the
Impluvium in the virtual world with the reconstructed mosaic of Nereids riding a Triton
General views of the villa – above, and hypothetic distribution of the pars urbana.
Pavements with mosaics are marked – below
archaeological site, the formal analysis to construe and understand the functionality of the
structures and the syntactic analysis of the space to grasp the subjacent social signicance.
The virtual reconstruction mimics the constructive materials found in the dig that are
properly described in the corresponding excavation reports (Sierra 1985; Hoz 1987). Those
reports also give important clues to the possible distribution of spaces and the way they
are grouped in terraces following the slope of the terrain. Those clues were especially taken
into account to obtain the hypothetical layout of the complex.
On the basis of the previous analysis, the model of the villa was organized in three zones
following the alignments of the terraces found on the site. The rst one corresponds to the
pars urbana, the noble area where the dominus and his family lived, and the area dedicat-
ed to the thermal baths (balnea). The second one is related to the accommodation of the
servants, slaves and all personnel who harvested the crops in the surrounding elds. The
third area includes spaces for storage of farm equipment and stables. The nal distribution
is displayed in the gures (g. 5).
2. 2. Virtual musealization
Musealization of the model:
The virtual representation of the domus is fully visitable. The user, represented by his
or her avatar, dressed as aRoman inhabitant of the villa, can walk freely throughout all the
complex, enjoying not only the architecture of the building, but also the wall paintings, fur-
niture, mosaics and other elements of material culture (anphoras for oil and wine, tegulas,
oil lamps, etc) (g. 6). The setting of the dierent spaces (atria, peristila, lararium, triclinium,
tablinium, etc) helps interpret the daily life in such facilities. The main focus is the mosaic of
Anphoras for oil and wine and explanatory panel
the “Judgment of Paris” since this piece is unique in Hispania, being one of the ve known
mosaic found in all the Roman Empire and depicting this theme (Blázquez 1985).
All notable elements in the virtual villa have explanatory panels written in Spanish and
English (switchable) that give information about every specic topic. Some rooms act as
containers of descriptive elements like maps (g. 7), pictures and videos related to the ac-
tivities that took place in the villa and the art of mosaic making.
Implementation and support for the interpretation center:
The virtual villa is implemented as adatabase in an OpenSim server, so it can be ac-
cessed through the Internet using any compatible viewer such as Singularity, Kokua or
Imprudence. Anyway, acustom-congured viewer can download this project from the
website of the virtual world.
Independently from the remote access, the virtual world is designed so that it can be
used as alocal simulation of the ancient house from within the interpretation center, with
the help of aregular personal computer located in one of its exhibition rooms. This way,
this virtual museum accomplishes several objectives of the center:
Depiction: The virtual world displays formal aspects and characteristics of the ele-
ments to interpret, their full shape, location and use in the villa, relative importance, etc.
Evocation: The virtual villa fosters the use of imagination to make the visitors feel
themselves part of the ancient world, thus helping understand the key concepts and better
grasp the information that is oered.
Experience: The visitor can perceive the villa and the mosaics located inside through
avirtual, but vivid experience, feeling the relations between the spaces, contemplating the
Room explaining the oil commerce from the villa
elements displayed, and experiencing the visit to the virtual villa like he or she could do it
in areal museum.
Last but not least, the multiuser enabled remote access brings the possibility to put
distant visitors in touch, allowing them to meet one another in the virtual facility where
both text and voice chats are available. This way, it is possible to organize such events as
lectures, guided visits for remote groups of visitors (i.e. school groups) in the virtual villa,
expert meetings, etc (g. 8).
2. 3. Avatars and gamication
As it was mentioned above, users enter this world using avatars that can be chosen from
asmall variety of male and female, both adult and child, images. Those avatars dressed in
Roman garments and wearing jewelry can be personalized for every user. This is made in
order to reinforce the feeling of personal presence of the visitor in the virtual world.
There is aquiz game implemented in the virtual world, specially designed for young
visitors. The player is to face abas-relief sculpture of Medusa that asks him or her aques-
tion. The answer is easy to give if the visitor has paid enough attention to the information
displayed all over the villa. If the player succeeds in answering the question, Medusa gives
him (or her) an image of agolden apple like the one depicted in the “Judgment of Paris”
mosaic (g. 9).
Virtual worlds can be used as avery eective tool for the dissemination of the cultural
goods of an interpretation center. Virtual replicas can not only be displayed but also put
into context, allowing for abetter understanding of their cultural meaning. Those virtual
Educational activities for remote users
Visitor playing the quiz
environments can be used both as on-site simulation of historical reconstruction and also
as ameans for remote visits, drawing interest and attention of visitors from all over the
world, thus reaching people which could probably never visit the real place. All of this
makes virtual worlds anotable tool for enhancing the didactic capabilities of such centers.
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