The Scottish Ten

The Scottish Ten project marks a joint venture between the Digital Design Studio and Historic Scotland under their collaborative title ‘The centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation’. Ultimately five of Scotland’s UNESCO world heritage sites together with five international sites will be recorded using high-speed terrestrial and hand scanning systems, aerial LIDAR and photogrammetry. The laser scanners being used are capable of sub-centimetre accuracy which means the data being captured is highly accurate. The project forms part of the much larger ‘CyARK 500 Challenge’ which, as its title would suggest, aims to scan and digitally document 500 world heritage sites, with the view to making the data available to the public online. The Scottish Ten has numerous aims, centred on conservation, cultural heritage management, promoting Scotland’s technical and scientific expertise and strengthening Scottish cultural connections (Wilson et al 2010).

Laser Scanning Skara Brae: Photo courtesy of Historic Scotland and the Digital Design Studio.

Complimentary to the aims of the Scottish Ten, my own research aims to investigate how archaeological reconstructions are assembled, and how the act of assembling them and the consequential output functions as an interpretative process with a view to better integrating 3D technologies into archaeological research. This comes as a reaction to the common role of visualisation in archaeology simply as a communicative tool often tagged onto publications as an afterthought, rather than it forming an integral and active part of the problem solving process when interpreting a site or artefact. The research will provide in-depth and critical narratives of the reconstruction process throughout the stages of data collection in the field, creation of the 3D models and consumption of the resulting visualisations by an audience. In order facilitate the investigation of these issues I will be using case studies from the Scottish Ten Project.

For more information on the project you can visit the official website here.

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