3D-printed reconstructions provide clues to ancient site | EurekAlert! Science News

“Part of the ancient archaeological site of Tiwanaku, Bolivia, believed by Incans to be where the world was created has been reconstructed using 3D printed models of fragments of an ancient building. The results are presented in a study published in the open access journal Heritage Science.

Researchers at UC Berkeley, USA, created accurate, 3D-printed miniature models of architectural fragments to reconstruct the Pumapunku building in the Tiwanaku site. Considered to be an architectural wonder of its time (AD 500-950), Pumapunku has been ransacked over the last 500 years to a point where none of the remaining 150 blocks that comprised the original building remain in their original place….”

Digitizing the vast “dark data” in museum fossil collections | Salon.com

“The uniqueness of each museum collection means that scientists routinely make pilgrimages worldwide to visit them. It also means that the loss of a collection, as in the recent heart-wrenching fire in Rio de Janeiro, represents an irreplaceable loss of knowledge. It’s akin to the loss of family history when a family elder passes away. In Rio, these losses included one-of-a-kind dinosaurs, perhaps the oldest human remains ever found in South America, and the only audio recordings and documents of indigenous languages, including many that no longer have native speakers. Things we once knew, we know no longer; things we might have known can no longer be known.

But now digital technologies — including the internet, interoperable databases and rapid imaging techniques — make it possible to electronically aggregate museum data. Researchers, including a multi-institutional team I am leading, are laying the foundation for the coherent use of these millions of specimens. Across the globe, teams are working to bring these “dark data” — currently inaccessible via the web — into the digital light….

The sheer size of fossil collections, and the fact that most of their contents were collected before the invention of computers and the internet, make it very difficult to aggregate the data associated with museum specimens. From a digital point of view, most of the world’s fossil collections represent “dark data.” …

The Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) site hosts all the major museum digitization efforts in the United States funded by the current NSF initiative that began in 2011….

Our group, called EPICC for Eastern Pacific Invertebrate Communities of the Cenozoicquantified just how much “dark data” are present in our joint collections. We found that our 10 museums contain fossils from 23 times the number of collection sites in California, Oregon and Washington than are currently documented in a leading online electronic database of the paleontological scientific literature, the Paleobiology Database….”

Sketchfab – Your 3D content on web, mobile, AR, and VR.

“Sketchfab is empowering a new era of creativity by making it easy for anyone to publish and find 3D content online. With a community of millions of creators who have published millions of models, we are the largest platform for immersive and interactive 3D. Additionally, our store allows thousands of buyers and sellers to transact in confidence using our realtime 3D viewer and model inspector. 

Our technology is integrated with every major 3D creation tool and publishing platform, and is compatible with every browser and most VR headsets. Our player is embeddable anywhere on the web, and lets you view and share 3D and VR content on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.”

Google, CyArk to Build VR Models of World’s Endangered Heritage Sites | Technology News

Google has joined hands with CyArk, a California-based 3D laser scanning non-profit, to build virtual reality (VR)representations of historical sites around the world that are at risk of destruction due to human conflict or natural disasters, media reports said.

The joint effort – called the Open Heritage project – will use CyArk’s (short for cyber archive) laser-scanning technology to capture and archive the imperiled archaeological wonders from all over the world…”

Preserving endangered wonders of the world, for generations to come

“When Ben Kacyra watched on TV as the Taliban destroyed 1,500 year-old Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan in 2001, he felt compelled to do something. Mr. Kacyra, who happens to be one of the creators of the world’s first three-dimensional laser scanning system, realized that his technology could be used to record monuments at risk of damage due to natural disasters, war, or tourism, so that they could be preserved for future generations.

He founded CyArk, a non-profit that has created the world’s largest and most detailed 3D digital archive of endangered wonders of the world—a lasting record of monuments at risk of disappearing. Now, Google Arts & Culture has partnered with CyArk to open up access to their virtual wonders and share their stories with everyone. …”

Connecting to the past in a digital environment | CyArk

“Conveying a sense of wonder and intimacy for the past has been both the most challenging and yet most rewarding part of my work as an archaeologist. Before recently joining CyArk, I worked as the Co-Field Director of the Catalhoyuk Research Project. The newly concluded 25-year research program led under Ian Hodder at the 9000-year old Neolithic site produced a plethora of information on the everyday lives of the original inhabitants of the site. Details, such as the connection between a geometric wall painting and a child’s burial, or that knowing that each stone, found in a cluster by the chest of a buried woman, were distinctively different in colour, were the things that always sparked wonder in me.”

CyArk Wins Inaugural Ptolemy Data Science Award | CyArk

“CyArk was recently named the inaugrual winner of the Ptolemy Data Science Award presented by industry leader Seagate Technologies. Our own VP of Programs, Elizabeth Lee was very proud to accept the award at an event in Chicago in August on behalf of the organization. The beautifully designed award now sits proudly in the CyArk office.

Candidates were evaluated on the basis of Social Impact, Creative Exploration and Scientific Achievement and CyArk was chosen in particular for our “groundbreaking work in pioneering new ways of using data to safeguard and explore human civilization”. …”

Ben Kacyra: Ancient wonders captured in 3D | TED Talk

“Ancient monuments give us clues to astonishing past civilizations — but they’re under threat from pollution, war, neglect. Ben Kacyra, who invented a groundbreaking 3D scanning system, is using his invention to scan and preserve the world’s heritage in archival detail. (Watch to the end for a little demo.)”

Monticello archaeologists get boost in study of slavery | Local | dailyprogress.com

“In 2000, archaeologists at Monticello established the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery, or DAACS. It is a collaborative, online database where archaeologists can upload and share data about artifacts found during excavations of slavery sites at Monticello and other places in the Chesapeake region, according to Fraser Neiman, director of archaeology at Monticello….