A group from Duke Libraries recently visited Dr. Maurizio Forte’s Digital Archaeology Initiative (a.k.a. “Dig@Lab”) to learn more about digital imaging of three-dimensional objects and to explore opportunities for collaboration between the lab and the library.
Dr. Forte (a Professor of Classical Studies, Art, and Visual Studies) and his colleagues were kind enough to demonstrate how they are using 3D imaging technology to “dig for information” in simulated archaeological sites and objects. Their lab is a fascinating blend of cutting-edge software and display interfaces, such as the Unity 3D software being used in the photo above, and consumer video gaming equipment (recognize that joystick?).
Using the goggles and joystick above, we took turns exploring the streets and buildings of the ancient city of Regium Lepedi in Northern Italy. The experience was extremely immersive and somewhat disorienting, from getting lost in narrow alleys to climbing winding staircases for an overhead view of the entire landscape. The feeling of vertigo from the roof was visceral. None of us took the challenge to jump off of the roof, which apparently you can do (and which is also very scary according to the lab researchers). After taking the goggles off, I felt a heaviness and solidity return to my body as I readjusted to the “real world” around me, similar to the sensation of gravity after stepping off a trampoline.
The Libraries and Digital Projects team look forward to working more with Dr. Forte and bringing 3D imaging into our digital collections.
More information about the lab’s work can be found at:
(Photos by Molly Bragg and Beth Doyle)