2018-2019 Grant in Aid of Research

3D Modeling and Its Applications from San Miceli Excavations in Sicily

Jared B. Wilson

The significance of this research is to show how the use of technology can help offset what is lost due to the inherent destruction that comes with excavation. Excavation units, and even entire sites, can be digitally rendered in 3D environments that include placement of artifacts, architecture, distance and elevation between any two points, geo-referencing, and can even be modeled to show change-over-time from day-to-day excavation. Research will be gathered from San Miceli, Sicily in the 2018 season and then compiled with the data gathered there over the past 4 seasons. Daily photos of each excavation unit will be taken; using Agisoft Photoscan 3D models will then rendered from the photos. These 3D models will be used to develop 2D daily top plans for each square. Each supervisor will get a scaled, 2D, digital, color top plan to work with every evening to make plans for the next day’s excavation. This replaces the hand drawn plans with more accurate representations of the previous day’s work. The program Blender will then be used to cycle through daily models to show daily change over time of the excavation. This research will also demonstrate how these models and digitally created content can be shared with colleagues and other archaeologists world-wide without the need of specific software. At the end of the season, examples of these models will be uploaded and will be accessible to anyone with a computer or smartphone and internet access.