My third draft PhD Proposal

**Update this is the approved version!**

Happy New Year everyone!  After reading a tonne over the holidays and in the hopes that I’m “third time lucky” here is my third draft of my PhD research proposal.  In comparison, my first draft can be viewed here and my second draft here. It’s my additional hope that for future graduate students, some measure of writing progression can be demonstrated by comparing all three.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a group of dedicated Mentors and Supervisors to help navigate the process, provide support and suggest new insights.

As always, do not hesitate to comment, suggest or even challenge what you have read!

Cheers,

Michael

__________________________________________________________________________________

WORKING TITLE: VIRTUAL ARCHAEOLOGY, VIRTUAL LONGHOUSES AND “ENVISIONING THE UNSEEN” WITHIN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD.

MICHAEL CARTER – PHD DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

Keywords: Virtual Archaeology, Virtual Reality, Archaeological Visualization, Archaeology, Northern Iroquoian Longhouses, Agency, Authenticity, Authority, Transparency, Making, Materiality, Wayfaring.

Introduction

My PhD research will include the construction of a virtual, archaeologically-based Late Woodland ancestral northern Iroquoian longhouse. The build and subsequent participant interaction with that space will facilitate an interrogation of archaeological meaning making informed by material and historical data as made “real” in virtual space. The virtual build of archaeological spaces will allow me to test cultural historical assumptions about the architecture and internal layout of these residential structures manifested virtually, and to experiment with the physics and logics of these assumptions. And once constructed, this virtual space will allow me, through semi-structured interviews and participant observations, to examine whether Virtual Archaeology (VA) is an effective means to enhance and expose the conceptual frameworks and mental templates archaeologists operationalize to help bridge the gaps between physical, contextual data and archaeological meaning making.

By specifically focusing on the virtual visualization of a typical northern Iroquoian longhouse, I have chosen a unique cultural manifestation that apart from the remnants of post-hole stains, below ground cultural features and fire hearths, is an archaeological enigma lacking significant above ground visual representation archaeologically or historically. Conversely, there exists a more generally understood “pre-existing mental image” (Ingold 2011:22) of these structures derived from limited historical and oral descriptions, albeit generalized from a narrow period of time and from a range of regional and cultural variations in material expression. Thus I will explore, through the use of virtual 3D model creation, how archaeologists internalize archaeological data and landscapes, material artifacts and oral and written histories in order to “envision the unseen” within virtual reality.

Through the process of making and manipulating the material, and the material – in turn – manipulating the maker, there are also a series of wayfaring points. Wayfaring is a process for taking stalk of the moment in time in which the act of making and the materiality of the raw material requires the artisan wayfarer [1] to stop, evaluate and make course corrections in order to achieve a representative version of their vision (Ingold 2011, 2013; see also Crawford 2015), a process that past and present longhouse builders work through during their construction of such buildings. Likewise, in the act of making within 3D space, there is a similar wayfaring experiential process, one that both mirrors the physical experiential process of longhouse construction while confronting archaeological knowledge and assumptions embedded in that research on ancient longhouse architecture and living.

([1] Defined as a craftsperson that uses their accumulated knowledge through the reflexive application of the physical, material and materiality of the making process.)

In this process of making, and as makers who make course corrections at wayfaring points, the decisions made embody elements of power, agency and authority (Crawford 2015; Ingold 2011, 2013) that draws into question the authenticity of the representative virtual form created. As such, as a virtual artisan wayfarer, I embody and assert a technical, creative and archaeological “expertise.” This creates a unique perspective to archaeological meaning-making that requires me to be reflexive of the power, agency and implicit authority I embed in the process of making within virtual space. Thus as a wayfaring artist, I will need to transparently negotiate the process between virtual builder, viewer and archaeologist, in order to reveal the “continuous correcting” that occurs as decisions are made virtually through the build and through the (re)imagining of a longhouse within the 3D environment (Ingold 2011, 2013).

While it has been a dimension of archaeological practice for over 30 years now, VA continually has failed to build and emerge from a solid foundation of robust archaeological inquiry (Reilly 2015). Rather, this practice has tended to focus more on the application of the tool as novelty and as a visual aid within archaeology, with little consideration on how these tools can expose and even shape our understandings of the archaeological record (Dallas 2007; Gillings 2005; Huggett 2012). It is my claim that virtual archaeology has the potential to provide transformative ways of thinking not only about the practical construction and material realities of longhouse building and dwelling, but also about the mental embodiment of longhouse culture and use that archaeologists have employed in their constructions of ancestral northern Iroquoian lifeways. Thus, the proximate aims of this research are to examine archaeological understandings of agency, authority, authenticity and transparency manifest within a virtual archaeological environment. Ultimately, the aim is to enhance understandings of archaeological meaning-making as applied to and revealed by virtual visualization and interaction in archaeology.

Background

The sublime organic nature of ancestral northern Iroquoian longhouses I am exploring in this research is that they are ideal examples of Ingold’s (2011:19-32) notion of “materials versus materiality.” The organic materials used in the construction of these structures and dwelling spaces dictates the style, use and longevity of the physical materiality of the longhouse itself, which eventually melds back into the environment in which it came, with no above ground traces of those materials or that living materiality left behind (Ingold 2011:26). For archaeologists, this material absence serves as the foundation for imposing archaeological understandings of the ancient materiality of longhouse embodiment. Thus to visualize and describe the material, mental and social properties of longhouses over their life history as ancient-built conceptions of structures, residences and living spaces is to “tell the stories of what happens to them as they flow, mix and mutate” (Ingold 2011:30).  Hence the virtual construction of a longhouse represents the physical and mental interpretation of what that longhouse was, and is this much more than visualizing data. It is also a contemporary narrative in which multiple voices, conceptions and opinions are expressed along the pathway of knowledge creation.

Compounding the challenges of archaeologists to visualize remaining, below-ground vestiges of a three dimensional material space and conception virtually is that, in popular forms of virtual reality, the pervasive use of photo-realism in the entertainment industry has created an expectation –and fallacy – that if it “looks” real, it must be authentic (Denard 2012). This is a theme that plays out time and again in the use of archaeological visualization, whether it is for knowledge makers or for the general public (Colley 2015; Earl 2005; Frankland and Earl 2011). Although the tradition of archaeological illustration has altered little since antiquity scholars began their renaissance studies (e.g. Moser 2012) virtual reality puts a unique spin on this tradition of presenting archaeological visual data in an authoritative and authentic manner (Perry 2015). In doing so, by taking a creative approach to the interpretation of archaeological data within virtual representations, the agency of that data becomes layered upon and seen through the creators lens: what that “artist’s impression” intends the virtual space to convey (see Earl 2013; Frankland and Earl 2011; Frischer et al. 2000; Smiles and Moser 2005; Perry 2015). The digital production of objects, landscapes and narratives makes overt issues of authenticity and authority in archaeological meaning making, creating an interpretive agency in both real and virtual worlds, and as such need to be acknowledged overtly and transparently (Bentkowska-Kafel et al. 2012; Cochrane and Russell 2007; Colley 2015; Earl 2013; Forte 2014a; Huggett 2012, 2015; Pauketat and Alt 2005; Perry 2009; Richardson 2013; Robb 2010).

Rationale and Objectives

Virtual Archaeology has become a powerful tool in the presentation and interpretation of archaeological landscapes and artifacts as a means of knowledge building, meaning making and heritage accessibility (e.g., Dallas 2009; Earl 2013; Forte 2014a, 2014b; Huggett 2013; Perry 2015). It has become a “mediating tool” allowing researchers to experiment with the data and to tease out the tensions that arise from limited and multiple conceptions of the past – a multi-sourced and even multi-vocal environment created to “stimulate interpretation,” explore alternate tellings of the past, and advance new research directions in archaeology (Dallas 2009; Earl 2013; Huggett 2013). Nonetheless, while the practice/study/craft of archaeological visualization has managed to present itself and its output as representative of archaeological meaning making and authoritative presentations of the past, this has occurred without the practice really establishing the basis for that authority (see Earl 2013; Perry 2015). Thus the challenges VA represents within the broader field of archaeological theory and method is going beyond the perceived notion of the technology being a novel means to illustrate archaeological data, and to demonstrate that VA can be a transformative vehicle to engage with material pasts in a way that allows for multiple visions of that heritage to be represented, tested and valued.

Case study

 The proposed research in VA I have and will continue to advance for this PhD is to create an interactive, phenomenological virtual representation of an Iroquoian longhouse. This longhouse will be modelled on an example documented archaeologically from the pre-contact 16th Century of southern Ontario, and specifically from the ancestral northern Iroquoian community identified as the Lawson Village site, located on the grounds of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology (MOA). The process of designing, developing and implementing virtual archaeological data is a relatively new approach to Iroquoian archaeological research and broader knowledge dissemination within Ontario, although physical world public interpretive reconstructions and as case studies of experimental archaeology have been undertaken over the last several decades (e.g. Fecteau 1979; Williamson 2004) As such, my current research will reflect on my own and participants’ experiences of interpreting the data from a visual knowledge building perspective, while addressing and developing protocols to address agency, authority, authenticity, transparency and traditional Iroquoian archaeological research within virtual reality.

By virtualizing an Iroquoian longhouse and by disseminating this project by means of social media and direct participant engagement to the archaeological community, I hope to gain additional insight into how archaeologists conceptualize and “understand” these unique residential structures, since they are the perceived experts of this archaeology. What I am interested in exploring is how these archaeological understandings, as built environments and material spaces foreign to archaeologists’ own lived experiences but culturally and materially understood within the daily lives of ancient peoples (Ferris 2013) arise in interpretive models of this record.

 Methodology

The first stage of my research will consist of researching and then building a virtual ancestral northern Iroquoian longhouse that generally conforms to 16th century archaeological longhouse data, while interrogating the multitude of detailed physical characteristics of the above ground building and space created around and within those longhouses, which can only be assumed archaeologically. Using traditional 3D animation and visual effects, as well as film, television and gaming production techniques derived from twenty years of personal production experience, and following previous test projects conducted at Sustainable Archaeology and Ryerson University, a production schedule, budget and technical pipeline methodology for this research was developed. This also included reviewing relevant cultural material literature, experimental archaeology observations and experiences, along with archaeological community participation, in order to help inform the creation of representative 3D assets (digital artistic components used in the longhouse build) that served as templates and a technical framework for the development of the virtual Longhouse environment.

Following the successful model of employing 3D knowledge experts previously used at Sustainable Archaeology, I brought together professional technical artist expertise to compliment the creation, production and deployment of the virtual Longhouse environment. Using a conventional film and television client-service provider production model, I worked with the computer artist with my direction, informed by written, visual and verbal archaeological research, that would serve as the basis for my “artist’s impression” of the assets to be built within the 3D environment. As this archaeological data became a 3D visual reality, I reflexively made course corrections based on; i) new research I became aware of; ii) comments from the archaeological community; or iii) limitations in the artist’s rendering, technical abilities or software capabilities. Likewise, inherent hardware and software limitations to achieve the representation desired at the resolution preferred also became wayfaring points of decision. At all stages as the virtual environment was being researched and built, these decisions, observations and experiential workarounds were documented, allowing me to reflexively consider the nature of the archaeological, historical, oral and experimental information I was utilizing, as well as my own direction, interpretation and expectations of the content being developed.

This was an experiential process and as such, when new theoretical, methodological, technical, artistic or archaeological data was discovered, it was measured for fit within the project and incorporated accordingly. As such, during the production phase, new technological advances such as the now publically available Ocular Rift immersive virtual reality headset determined the delivery platform on which the final project would be ported and applied within the second stage of this research.

To date, a fully immersive 3D representation of a prototypical 16th century northern Iroquoian longhouse has been constructed. Being initially built in Autodesk Maya, its assets have been ported to a Unity3D game engine that controls not only the visual rendering of the Longhouse itself, but also phenomenological elements such as environ metrics (fire, wind, smoke), sound (flowing water, forest/nature, wind, fire) and the haptic interaction of users in this immersive environment (movement, direction). Further, the delivery platform incorporates the use of both the Ocular Rift immersive 3D glasses, or traditional screen based experiences, which allows for multiple types of participant engagement. This phase of research encompasses 4 years of preliminary pre-production research and testing, and 7 months of 3D production in 2015. As of January 2016 this phase of the research is complete and the longhouse environment It is now fully deployable for the second stage of my research.

The second stage of my research will be to have individuals interact with the virtual longhouse environment, in order to test the utility of this model, and the potential of VA to engage with and advance archaeological cultural historical studies, and reveal the operational logics archaeologists use to inform their interpretive understandings of ancient material spaces. This stage will consist of pre-participation questionnaires, semi-structured interviews during and after engagement, and observing participant behaviour within the longhouse virtual environment. All study participants will be given the option of choosing between a fully immersed virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift immersive goggles, or a less immersive experience with a hand-held controller and TV display.

I intend to work with three sets of up to five (5) Heritage stakeholders, each group representing specific expertise in ancestral northern Iroquoians. These participants would encompass: i) academic and professional archaeologists who have had limited exposure to Virtual Archaeology, but moderate to substantial experience working with ancestral northern Iroquoian archaeology; ii) academic and professional archaeologists who have moderate to substantial exposure to Virtual Archaeology, but more limited experience working with northern Iroquoian archaeology; and iii) heritage and descendent professionals who have or have not had experiences with VA, but do have experience in knowledge dissemination of Iroquoian history/material culture to the broader public. To develop a representative base, I will seek a broad set of adult individuals in age, gender, professional experience and backgrounds. My goals are to: i) document overt participant preconceptions for both their anticipated VA experience and longhouse environments; ii) observe how participants engage with and choose to interact with the virtual longhouse; iii) observe how and discussion participants perceive the virtual environment in terms of authenticity, authority and agency; iv) document their interpretation of the representation and placement of digital assets, landscapes and built structures, as well as v) record any alternative meaning-making they themselves express or advance after interacting with this virtual environment.

As the Oculus Rift goggles, hand held controllers and computer platform that controls the data is highly portable, interviews will be ideally conducted in private at the participant’s place of choosing or at a private, controlled room at Sustainable Archaeology or Ryerson University. Once the subject is in position and engaged with the virtual environment, I will observe the participant’s choices and movement through the environment, and non-prompted verbal responses. I will answer questions only when asked. Lastly after the participant has engaged with the virtual environment, they will be interviewed in a semi-structured manner for no more than one hour with the allowance to provide additional feedback via email if desired. All observations and interviews will be video and audio recorded along with detailed field notes.

Prior to the virtual experience, I will ask participants to describe, based on their academic and professional expertise, what their vision of a 16th century northern Iroquoian longhouse should look and “feel” like. Through the post experience interview, I will seek to understand their perceptions of the virtual environment, the degree to which they felt the representation of that archaeological space mirrored their pre-expectations, and the “accuracy” or authenticity of architectural details, objects and interior and exterior space as rendered. Lastly participants’ will be asked to discuss the role of this virtual environment in archaeological interpretation, and whether they feel VA serves as a visual aid to conventional archaeological interpretation, or how it might facilitate new forms of interpretation. Pre-entry and exit comments provided by participants will assist in gaging if they feel virtual archaeology has no, little or substantial effect on their mental templates and conceptual understanding of longhouses, on the use of virtual archaeology for interpreting longhouse archaeology and the social environment of this lived space.

Contribution

Although this research seeks to advance the use and intent of virtual archaeology as a means of reflexively evaluating archaeological meaning-making, it also will contribute to examining the contested materiality and embodiment of ancestral northern Iroquoian longhouse lifeways by challenging cultural historical norms that bridge archaeological data and assumptions of longhouse construction and use. By deploying the latest 3D asset building and visualization tools, this research can contribute to developing a methodological template for further VA applications and knowledge transfers. Lastly, this research will test the concepts of authority, authenticity and transparency in approaches to archaeological visualization.

Timeline

In progress: I have already constructed a 3D representation of a prototypical ancestral northern Iroquoian longhouse using available archaeological, historical and oral data, along with associated household objects and materials. These assets were created in Autodesk Maya and then ported into the Unity3D game engine. Testing is currently being conducted on the use of Ocular Rift as an immersive engagement platform and Beta deployment of the Longhouse representation has been tested with a limited number of archaeologists for antidotal impressions of the theme and technology used.

Following The London Charter, all steps in the design, development, current implementation and knowledge dissemination of this virtual archaeological research have been recorded and made available specifically to the archaeological community and the public at large through the use of social media.

November 2015 – January 2016: Completion of the 3D construction of the longhouse and associated assets within Maya with a final porting of those assets into the Unity game engine (development began in March of 2015). Technical testing of the delivery platform(s) using Oculus Rift, Desktop and Internet based systems.

January – May 2016: Relevant ethics protocols will be acquired for my case study of user experiences by archaeology and heritage professionals. Once approved, I will undertake participant questionnaires and VA engagements, to be completed by end of May 2016.

June – December 2016: Analysis of interviews and begin writing of dissertation.

January – June 2017: Completion of dissertation and revision as needed.

Research Deliverables: 1) Longhouse 3.x – a completed and interactive digital version of the VA environment used by participants. 2) An article-based dissertation (3 articles i – on the longhouse build; ii – on participant experiences; iii – on theoretical and methodological implications of VA on archaeological meaning making).

References

Bentkowska-Kafel, Anna, Hugh Denard, and Drew Baker
2012 Paradata and transparency in virtual heritage. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Cochrane, Andrew, and Ian Russell
2007  Visualizing Archaeologies: a Manifesto. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 17(01): 3.

Colley, Sarah
2015  Ethics and digital heritage. In The Ethics of Cultural Heritage, edited by Tracy Ireland and John Schofield, pp. 13–32. Springer, New York, NY.

Crawford, M
2015  The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction. Penguin Canada Books Inc., Toronto.

Dallas, C
2007  Archaeological knowledge, virtual exhibitions and the social construction of meaning. Archeologia e Calcolatori(1): 31–63.

2009  From artefact typologies to cultural heritage ontologies: or, an account of the lasting impact of archaeological computing. Archeologia e Calcolatori 20: 205–221.

Denard, Hugh
2012  A new introduction to the London Charter. Paradata and Transparency in Virtual Heritage Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities Series(Ashgate, 2012): 57–71.

Earl, Graeme
2005  Video killed engaging VR? Computer visualizations on the TV screen. In Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image, edited by Sam Smiles and Stephanie Moser, pp. 204–222. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK.

2013  Modeling in archaeology: computer graphic and other digital pasts. Perspectives on Science 21(2): 226–244.

Fecteau, R D
1979  The Longhouse Experiment. KEWA: Newsletter London Chapter, Ontario Archaeological Society 79(2): 1–3.

Ferris, Neal
2013  Place, Space, and Dwelling in the Late Woodland. In Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province, edited by Marit K Munson and Susan M Jamieson, pp. 99–111. McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP, Montreal and Kingston.

Forte, Maurizio
2014a 3D Archaeology : New Perspectives and Challenges — The Example of Çatalhöyük. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2(1): 1–29.

2014b Virtual Reality and Cyberarchaeology. In 3D Recording and Modelling in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Theory and best practices., edited by Fabio Remondino and Stefano Campana, pp. 3–6. ArcheoPress. British Archaeological Reports (S2598), Oxford.

Frankland, Tom, and Graeme Earl
2011  Authority and authenticity in future archaeological visualisation. Original Citation: 62.

Frischer, Bernard, Franco Niccolucci, Nick Ryan, and Juan Barceló
2000  From CVR to CVRO: The Past, Present, and Future of Cultural Virtual Reality. VAST Conference on Virtual reality, Archeology, and Cultural Heritage, Arezzo, Italy.(November): 1–12.

Gillings, Mark
2005  The real, the virtually real, and the hyperreal: The role of VR in archaeology. Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image: 223–239.

Huggett, J.
2012  What lies beneath: lifting the lid on archaeological computing. In Thinking Beyond the Tool: Archaeological Computing and the Interpretative Process, edited by A. Chrysanthi, P. Murrietta, Flores, and C. Papadopoulos, pp. 204–214. Archeopress.

2013 Disciplinary issues: challenging the research and practice of computer applications in archaeology. In Archaeology in the Digital Era, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp. 13–24.

2015  A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology. Open Archaeology 1(1): 86–95.

Ingold, Tim
2011  Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description. Taylor & Francis.

2013  Making: Anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. Routledge.

Moser, Stephanie
2012  Early Artifact Illustration and the Birth of the Archaeological Image. In Archaeological Theory Today, edited by Ian Hodder, pp. 292–322. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Pauketat, Timothy R., and Susan M. Alt
2005  Agency in a postmold? Physicality and the archaeology of culture-making. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 12(3): 213–237.

Perry, Sara
2009  Fractured Media: Challenging the Dimensions of Archaeology’s Typical Visual Modes of Engagement. Archaeologies 5(3): 389–415.

2015  Crafting knowledge with (digital) visual media in archaeology. In Material Evidence. Learning from archaeological practice., edited by R. Chapman and A. Wylie, pp. 189–210. Routledge, New York and London.

Reilly, P
2015  Putting the materials back into Virtual Archaeology. St. Petersburg.

Richardson, Lorna
2013  A Digital Public Archaeology? Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 23(1): 1–12.

Robb, John
2010 Beyond agency. World archaeology 42(4): 493–520.

Williamson, Ronald F
2004  Replication or Interpretation of the Iroquoian Longhouse. In The Reconstructed Past: Reconstrucions in the Public Interpretation of Archaeology and History, edited by John H. Jameson, Jr., pp. 147–166. Altamira Press, New York.

 

Ingold & Wayfaring from a Digital Perspective

This post is a reprint of a 2011 Theoretical Archaeology paper I wrote in my first year of PhD studies.  Recently I was challenged by my supervisory committee to point to a theoretical framework that I would use for my PhD research and in those notes was a comment about Tim Ingold’s book Being Alive which we read extensively. In the four years since that course, I had completely forgotten about Ingold, although his books always seemed to be physically in the way on my desk!  I took the weekend to read it again and found, as I did four years ago, that his take on wayfaring blended nicely with the 3D animation/virtual reality process.

The paper below was my way of figuring out how Ingold and wayfaring fit within my initial research on developing an interactive 3D longhouse builder which eventually became Longhouse 1.0.  I hope you enjoy it for what it is, but I thank my committee for reminding me of Ingold’s influence on my research.To really understand the impact of the 3D CGI digital taskscape within the archaeological landscape, one needs to envision a virtual environment, empty of traditional senses. A black void of infinite 3D space, entirely dependent on user input, direction and purpose. A habitat entirely dependent on the coming into being, capture or importing of a single point, surface or object for any form of wayfaring to begin. This requires a paradigm shift of unparalleled magnitude, as the virtual world is a meshwork of organic, ever evolving tissue, influenced by an infinitesimal amount of inputs, properties or attributes. By breaking down the virtual world, to its most simplistic nuclei, the point, archaeologists can begin to understand the ramifications and rewards of digital archaeological methods, while formulating a new theoretical language to enhance the understanding of what digital means to archaeological study.

 


In an effort to have this paper peer reviewed and published, I have have taken this post down. For anyone interested in obtaining a PDF copy of this student paper, please contact me directly at wmcarter@ryerson.ca.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

May 22, 2017

I am pleased to announce that a modified version of this paper has now been published in the Virtual Archaeology Review and can be accessed here: https://polipapers.upv.es/index.php/var/article/view/6056. I’m grateful to my mentors Neal Ferris, Paul Reilly and Costis Dallas for their generous support and to Dr. José Luis Lerma for his constant editing suggestions as I developed this notion of Ingold’s wayfaring as a means to understanding meaning-making within 3D environments.

Cheers,

Michael

My second draft PhD Proposal

**Update the final approved PhD Proposal can be viewed here**

This is my second draft of my PhD Proposal.  My first is located here to compare.  In this round, I tried to better describe the actual research and how it might impact archaeological study.  I would really appreciate any thoughts or comments, negative or positive so I am able to better improve on this proposal.

Cheers,

Michael

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

MICHAEL CARTER – PHD DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

WORKING TITLE: VIRTUAL ARCHAEOLOGY, VIRTUAL LONGHOUSES AND “ENVISIONING THE UNSEEN” WITHIN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD.

Keywords: Virtual Archaeology, Virtual Reality, Archaeological Visualization, Archaeology, Northern Iroquoian Longhouses, Agency, Authenticity, Authority, Transparency.

Introduction

My PhD research will be comprised of two parts; a) the use of quantitative archaeological data, qualitative oral and historical accounts of 15th Century Northern Iroquoian longhouse construction and use, combined with virtual archaeology methods and theories, to envision and document a prototypical Iroquoian Longhouse, constructed within virtual space and b) to explore virtual archaeology meaning-making as it pertains to archaeologists perception of virtual reality and the visualization of archaeological data. By using the archaeological record as it pertains to the physicality of longhouse construction and use, we are able to envision the unseen. Many cultural, economic, societal and environmental factors help to inform this inquiry, however my desire and goal is to develop both a theoretical and virtual model of the fundamental features of a longhouse that is the manifestation of the dynamic archeological landscape, oral and written histories as well as the creative imagination of the artists and technicians who will ultimately be tasked with digitally reimagining these elusive, iconic and culturally significant architectural symbols of the Northern Iroquoian existence (Watts 2009; Woodworth 1998). Technology is at the point where we can provide an almost hyper-real experience to the participant viewer, may they be scholar, Descendant or the public (Frankland and Earl 2011; Forte 2014a; Gabellone et al. 2013; Giddings 2015; Morgan 2009; Moser and Smiles 2008). Further, that same technology potentially allows the participant to interpret and modify the objects and material being displayed/provided, giving them the ability to reorder, reinterpret or remix at will (Fisher and Twiss-Garrity 2007; Frankland and Earl 2011). These are the machinations that now loom over virtual archaeology and ones we must examine critically and systematically.

Background

Using the (re)imagination of a virtual Northern Iroquoian Longhouse in virtual reality as context to inform our exploration of virtual archaeology, this research will be guided by and include theoretical elements from Dawson, Levy and Lyons (phenomenology and presence), Reilly, Barceló, Frischer, Forte, Dallas, Huggett, Gillings (virtual archaeology) and Watts, Ferris, Robb, Frankland, Earl, Perry, Gosden, Denard (agency, authenticity, authority and transparency) among others from a virtual perspective and Dodd, Wright, Kapches, Snow, Williamson and others from a Northern Iroquoian longhouse construction and use perspective.

With rapid advancements in technology, there now exists a cornucopia of progressively successful attempts to engage the archaeological record within virtual reality or virtual archaeology. As with most applications of theory in reality, there too is a split between the qualitative and the quantitative nature of the technology and how it is implemented. Reilly, Barceló, Frischer and others see the digital tools, the process and the outcomes as part and parcel of the quantitative, scientific nature of archaeological research; data that should be represented by and through scientific means. Dawson, Levy, Lyons and Forte, see virtual archaeology as a phenomenological emotional experience in which the participant isn’t a passive viewer, but an equal partner in the exploration of the multi-vocal archaeological landscape where the data, material culture and the visual (re)imagination of the archaeological environment are engaged through the users eyes.

The transformative nature of technology and in particular our ability to manipulate digital data freely, whether visual or not, has given form to a multi-vocal approach to the interpretation of the archaeological record (Forte 2011, 2014a, 2014b). Following Hodder, Forte sees multi-vocal engagement within virtual archaeology as the ability to allow for multiple voices to engage and contribute to the overall interpretation of the virtual archaeological environment (2008; 2011, 2014a, 2014b). This authentic multi-vocal experience can lead to new research questions and hypotheses, disrupting the notion of the archaeologist as the interpreter of the “truth” (Earl 2013; Forte 2014b). As (digital) archaeologists, we are no longer the singular authoritative voice, but providers of material and assets in which stakeholders and the public themselves can construct and reimagine their own cultural presence within virtual space (see Earl 2013 & Perry 2014; Dasgupta 2006; Forte 2011 & 2014b).

Dawson, Levy and Lyons called this phenomenological experience presence; “the emotional connectedness of being transported to another time and place” (see Dawson et al. 2011). Although their study group were descendent participants, can this same experience be true for non-descendants as well? Can archaeologists use this technology and methodology in a phenomenological way to envision what isn’t seen in the archaeological record to better inform current and future research (see Watts 2009)?

Longhouses occupy a special narrative amongst descendent Iroquoian societies and modern archeologists. An active and engaged oral tradition has given the longhouse a spiritual existence in which the North American modern day longhouse continues to be a powerful symbol of community for those descendent populations, representing an architectural lineage that exemplifies agency and a unique way of life (see Heidenreich 1972; Kapches 1994; Mohawk 1978; O’Gorman 2010; Watts 2009; Woodworth 1998).   At the base level, the longhouse represents community in both physical and metaphysical traditions, embodying the physical to convey societal, cultural and political worldviews (Hayden 1968; Heidenreich 1972; Mohawk 1978; O’Gorman 2010; Ramsden 2009; Varley & Cannon 1994). For Iroquoian culture, the longhouse was a symbol of how the community functioned and was politically structured within their larger world, forming the boundaries of their influence, and symbolic of the longhouse itself (see Allen & Williams-Shuker 1998; Heidenreich 1972; O’Gorman 2010; Mohawk 1978). Though limited physical remnants remain of these structures, they are subjectively alive in the contested colonial writings and descriptions of historical explorers, the oral traditions of cultural descendants and the visual imagination of modern writers and filmmakers (Boyden 2013; Heidenreich 1972; Thwates 1896-1901).

Although the archaeological record reveals several centuries of longhouse and village-like settlement patterns for the Late Woodland, the modern perception of what a longhouse hypothetically looked and felt like is really derived from the latter part of the Late Woodland (sometimes referred to as the Terminal Woodland; see Ferris and Spence 1995), where archaeological and historical data come together to provide a general “convention” for what a longhouse “should be” (Snow 1997; Williamson 2004; Wright 1995). Further, it is these idealized non-native interpretations that continue to reinforce not only the academic but also the public’s notion of what a longhouse was and is (Williamson 2004). It is from these qualitative and quantitative data points that we will explore what a longhouse is physically within the archaeological and historical record.

My understanding of the visualization of longhouses from the archaeological record arises principally from the work of four archaeologists; J.V. Wright, Mima Kapches, Christine Dodd and Dean Snow. Due to the lack of any real physical evidence, models of longhouse use, style, agency, and construction have been hotly contested for decades (see Kapches 1994; Snow 1997; Williamson 2004; Wright 1995). The work of these archaeologists, in combination with continued observations and challenges from other exemplary researchers, form a base of understanding that helps to frame how longhouses were constructed. Using Dodd’s extensive quantitative research gleaned from an exhaustive review of longhouse data derived from field excavations (1984) and based on the qualitative and quantitative observations of Wright (1971), Kapches (1994) and Snow (1997) among others, a basic template for the construction of longhouses emerges. It is this template we seek to replicate virtually.

Rationale and Objectives

The study of Northern Iroquoian longhouses is a mercurial archaeological endeavour. Fragments of these once grand physical manifestations of social, cultural and political agency within the Late Iroquoian phases of the Ontario complex (Birch & Williamson 2013) are little more than “ghosts” below the soil line within the archaeological landscape. Soil stains are all that remain of the supporting posts and exterior walls of these unique cultural buildings representing only a small glimpse into how these dwellings once functioned or even looked.

These soil stains and the cultural material associated in and around the boundaries of these transitory structures, as well as historical Eurocentric writings and drawings and the oral traditions of descendent cultural groups, are what now form our archaeological understandings of the lifecycle of a longhouse, and more importantly, the cultural significance these structures played within Iroquoian life (Woodworth 1998). However, the enigma is that our understanding arising from these data points is imaginatively speculative at best and thus the challenge is to not only visualize these lost cultural manifestations, but also to embody all of the senses that the archaeological landscape cannot preserve; the haptic, olfactory and auditory – in other words the phenomenological (see Watts 2009). The ability to experience the application of sight, sound, smell, and touch in context, helps to embody the overall phenomenological archaeological experience (Dawson et al. 2011) and in turn may provide further understanding to the archaeological record. These are some of the challenges that frame the current debate on what a longhouse is and how it shapes our understanding of the lifeway of the people who thrived within these architectural representations of Iroquoian culture.

Virtual reality by definition is an interpretation of self within a different space, time or plane (see Sutherland 1965). It is narrative generating and thus both the technology and the process of creating virtual reality have borrowed heavily from the entertainment industry (see Frankland and Earl 2011 and Denard 2012). In doing so, by taking a creative approach to the interpretation of the archaeological data, the agency of that data is now layered upon and seen through the creators lens; what “artist’s impression” intend the virtual space to convey (see Earl 2013; Frankland and Earl 2011; Frischer et al. 2000; Moser and Smiles 2008; Perry 2015). The digital reproduction of objects, landscapes and narratives have agency both in the real and virtual worlds and as such must be treated with equal consideration and respect (Earl 2013; Forte 2014a; Huggett 2012a, 2015; Pauketat and Alt 2005; Richardson 2013; Robb 2010).

Thus my research will focus on the interpretive nature of virtual archaeology not only to visualize but also to inform archaeological research. It will embody the framework of agency, authority, authenticity and transparency by addressing them systematically through the research, visualization and dissemination of archaeological theory and knowledge as it pertains to the visualization of a typical Iroquoian longhouse. In doing so, my research will allow for a new perspective in longhouse construction and use, while further enabling a robust scientific approach to the use of virtual reality within archaeological research.

Case study

 This proposed research will provide representative visual material to be used as one interpretation based on the archaeological data, oral and written histories of an interactive phenomenological virtual representation of Iroquoian longhouse use within the pre-contact 15th Century, for the Museum of Ontario Archaeology (MOA) and Sustainable Archaeology (SA). The design, development and implementation of virtual archaeological data are a relatively new approach to Iroquoian archaeological research and knowledge dissemination within Ontario. As such, this research will reflect on the experience of interpreting the data from a visual experience while still addressing and developing protocols to address agency, authority, authenticity, transparency and traditional Iroquoian archaeological research within virtual reality.

By virtualizing an Iroquoian longhouse and by disseminating this project by means of social media to the archaeological community, I hope to gain additional insight into the construction methodologies and use as perceived by experts within the community. This form of multivocal meaning-making will allow not only my research, but those of others to potentially voice how longhouse construction and use might have been employed by the 15th Century Northern Iroquoian peoples through a mashing of ideas and concepts. In doing so, I am engaging a broader knowledge base, while continuing to establish a visualization template developed through established quantitative archaeological data.

As the end product, a fully immersed virtual reality archaeological representation of a typical Iroquoian longhouse, will be presented to MOA guests, stakeholders and governmental representatives, the process and the product must adhere to accepted archaeological method and theory. It is in this process that my research will be tested not only by the data presented, but the phenomenological experience provided.

Methodology

Virtual Archaeology has become a powerful tool in the interpretation of archaeological landscapes and artifacts as a means of knowledge building and meaning making (see Dallas 2009, Earl 2013, Forte 2014a & 2014b, Huggett 2013 & Perry 2014). It has become a “mediating tool” allowing researchers to experiment with the data and to tease out the tensions that arise from a multi-vocal environment (see Dallas 2009 & Earl 2013). These alternate visions help to “stimulate interpretation” creating multi-channeled narratives which spur on additional and unforeseen research questions (Earl 2013). As such, what is apparent is that the practice/study/craft has transcended beyond the internal realm of archaeological study to be fully accepted externally as representative of archaeological studies without it really establishing itself as an accepted cannon of archaeological research (see Earl 2013 & Perry 2014). Thus the challenges virtual archaeology represents within the broader field of archaeological theory and method, is going beyond the perceived notion of the technology as a tool to archaeologically illustrate data, but as a transformative vehicle to engage with the material culture in a way that allows for all visions to be represented, tested and valued.

I intend to test the perceived notion of virtual archaeology and it’s ability or inability, to inform and contribute to the broader archaeological study between three sets of Heritage Professionals with specific expertise in Northern Iroquoian research: i) Academic and Professional Archaeologists who have had limited exposure to Virtual Archaeology, ii) Academic and Professional Archaeologists who have moderate to substantial exposure to Virtual Archaeology and iii) Heritage Professionals who deal with the knowledge dissemination of archaeological material to the broader public. To develop a representative base, I will seek a broad set of individuals in age, gender, professional experience and backgrounds. My goal is to: i) observe how Heritage professionals perceive the virtual environment in terms of authenticity, authority and agency, ii) document their interpretation of the representation and placement of digital assets, landscapes and structure as informed by my interpretation of the archaeological, oral and historical data, and iii) record any alternative meaning-making they themselves would develop after experiencing my interpretation of the archaeological record in virtual reality.

All study candidates will be given an option of choosing between a fully immersed virtual reality experience using Ocular Rift immersive goggles or a less immersive experience with a hand-held controller and TV display. The study methodology will comprise of: i) observations of the three types of study participants and ii) semi-structured interviews and commentary from the participants pre, in the course of and post virtual reality experience. A pre-experience questionnaire will be developed to determine the participant’s general perception of virtual archaeology. As the Ocular Rift goggles, hand held controllers and the computer platform that controls the data is highly portable, interviews will be ideally conducted in private at the participant’s place of choosing or a private, controlled room within the University. To ensure safety for the participants who choose the fully immersive experience, there will be an option to sit or stand with myself within arms length to guide the participant should their balance be affected. A medical release will be developed in conjunction with the pre-experience questionnaire. Once the subject is in position and engaged with the virtual environment, I will observe the participant’s body movements and non-prompted verbal responses. Lastly after the participant has engaged with the virtual environment, they will be interviewed in a semi-structured manner for no more than one hour with the allowance to provide additional feedback via email if desired. All observations and interviews will be video and audio recorded along with detailed field notes.

Participants will be asked to state their impressions from a professional perspective. They will be asked to comment on the detail or lack there of, of the 3D virtual objects, structure and environment. Prior to the virtual experience, I will ask participants to describe in as much detail as possible, based on their academic and professional expertise, what their vision of a 15th Century Northern Iroquoian longhouse looks and “feels” like. Through the interview, I will seek to understand their perceptions of the virtual environment in terms of agency of the objects and/or representation of the archaeological space, the authority in which the objects are represented and if that authority is enhanced or detracted by the style and manner in which the objects have been rendered. The authenticity of the material presented within the virtual environment based on their professional experience and the transparency in which the project was conducted in providing the appropriate level of detail and description during the (re)imagination process. Lastly feedback will be sought regarding their overall impression on whether virtual reality enhances the scientific methodology of archaeological research and thus, enables a new form of envisioning the archaeological record. I will compare the pre-entry and exit comments to determine if virtual archaeology has no, little or substantial effect on their professional opinion on the use of virtual archaeology as an established scientific methodology, personal meaning-making and desire to expand this process in their own archaeological research and dissemination.

Contribution

I am proposing to design, develop and implement a method for the visualization of archaeological data and speculative academic insight within virtual archaeological environments. That this research method is grounded in the theories that have formed around the study of virtual archaeology, specifically: agency, authenticity, authority and transparency. In doing so, I hope to build upon the continued work of Dodd, Wright, Kapches, Snow and others with regards to Northern Iroquoian longhouse construction and use.

The impact of this study could be substantial. Apart from the pioneering phenomenological work done by Dawson, Levy and Lyons, current research has indicated that no other project is attempting to phenomenologically recreate a 3D virtual pre-contact native dwelling to the level and sophistication usually reserved for high-end gaming or film production. Further, following the recent development of The London Charter, this project will endeavor to develop a body of transparent knowledge, which is archaeological community based and encourages debate and opinion throughout the visualization process. Lastly this project will impact and contribute to the ongoing research and debate on virtual archaeology, it’s application, use and substantial contribution to the study and discipline of archaeology. Using the current language of digital media dissemination, I am attempting to develop a virtual archaeological 3D Wiki; a real-time tool that will eventually allow archaeologists and stakeholders to input as an active member or lurk as a passive participant in the personal archaeological knowledge building process.

Timeline

In progress: I have already constructed using the available archaeological data, a 3D representation of a prototypical Northern Iroquoian Longhouse, along with associated household objects within Maya and have ported those assets into the Unity Game Engine. Testing is currently being conducted on the use of Ocular Rift as a phenomenological engagement platform and Beta deployment of the Longhouse representation has been tested amongst Heritage Professionals for antidotal impressions of the theme and technology used.

Further, following The London Charter, all steps in the design, development, current implementation and knowledge dissemination of this virtual archaeological research have been recorded and made available specifically to the archaeological community and the public at large through the use of social media.

November 2015 – January 2016: Completion of the 3D construction of the longhouse and associated assets within Maya with a final porting of those assets into the Unity Game Engine. Technical testing of the delivery platform(s) using Ocular Rift, Desktop and Internet based systems.

Relevant ethics protocols will be acquired as needed for my case study of user experiences by heritage professionals.

January – March 2016: I will conduct interviews of Heritage professionals. Transcribe any audio and videos collected and collate written comments provided by the focus group participants.

March – December 2016: Preparation of my dissertation. Any interview participants, named and/or quoted, will be given the opportunity to approve whether and in what context their quoted statements appear in the final products.

A detailed breakdown of the approximated thesis section deadlines:

I am choosing to use the Integrated-Article format for my dissertation writing option.

Jan-Mar 2016:                        Article 1 – Case Study (Last 2 weeks of Mar: Revisions)

Mar-June 2016:         Article 2 – Literature Review (Last 2 weeks of Mar: Revisions)

July-Aug 2016:           Article 3 – Methodology (Last 2 weeks of Aug: Revisions)

Sept-Oct 2016:           Introduction (Last 2 weeks of Sept: Revisions)

Nov-Jan 2017:                        Conclusions (First 2 weeks of Jan: Revisions)

Jan-Feb 2017:                        Final Revisions and edits

Early Mar 2017:         Send out complete draft to advisors

End of Mar 2017:       Submit

April 2017:                 Defend and publish finished PhD dissertation.

 

PRELIMINARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Barceló, Juan
2000  Visualizing what might be: an introduction to virtual reality techniques in archaeology. In Virtual Reality in Archaeology: Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 1998. BAR International Series 843, edited by Juan Barceló, Maurizio Forte, and D. Sanders, pp. 9–36. ArcheoPress. British Archaeological Reports (S843), Oxford.

2001  Virtual Reality for archaeological explanation. Beyond“ picturesque” reconstruction. Archeologia e Calcolatori(12): 221–244.

2012  Computer simulation in archaeology. Art, science or nightmare? . Virtual Archaeology Review 3(5): 8–12.

Barker, Alex W.
2010  Exhibiting Archaeology: Archaeology and Museums. Annual Review of Anthropology.

Beacham, Richard
2006  Oh, to make boards to speak! There is a task! Towards a poetics of paradata. In: Greengrass M and Hughes L (eds) The Virtual Representation of the Past. Farnham: Ashgate: 171–178.

Beale, G, and P Reilly
2014  Additive Archaeology: the spirit of virtual archaeology reprinted. In Archaeological Research in the Digital Age: Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Greek Chapter (CAA-GR), Institute for Mediterranean Studies – Foundation of Research and Technology (IMS-FORTH), edited by C. Papadopoulos, E. Paliou, A. Chrysanthi, E. Kotoula, and A. Sarris, pp. 122–130. Rethymno.

Beauchamp, William Martin
1905  Aboriginal use of wood in New York. New York State Education Dept.

Birch, Jennifer, and Ronald F Williamson
2012  The Mantle Site: An Archaeological History of an Ancestral Wendat Community. AltaMira Press.

2013  Organizational complexity in ancestral Wendat communities. In From Prehistoric Villages to Cities: Settlement Aggregation and Community Transformation, edited by Jennifer Birch, 10:pp. 153–178. Routledge, New York.

2015  Navigating ancestral landscapes in the Northern Iroquoian world. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39: 139–150.

Brown, D., and G. Nicholas
2012  Protecting indigenous cultural property in the age of digital democracy: Institutional and communal responses to Canadian First Nations and Maori heritage concerns. Journal of Material Culture 17(3): 307–324.

Bursey, Jeffrey a.
2001  Storage Behavior in the Northeast: a Review of the Evidence. North American Archaeologist 22(3): 179–199.

Campbell, Ian D, and Celina Campbell
1994  The impact of late woodland land use on the forest landscape of southern Ontario. The Great Lakes Geographer 1(1): 21–29.

Cargill, Robert R
2009  An Argument for Archaeological Reconstruction in Virtual Reality. Near Eastern archaeology 72(1): 28–41.

Carrozzino, Marcello, and Massimo Bergamasco
2010  Beyond virtual museums: Experiencing immersive virtual reality in real museums. Journal of Cultural Heritage 11(4): 452–458.

Ch’ng, Eugene
2009  Experiential archaeology: Is virtual time travel possible? Journal of Cultural Heritage 10(4): 458–470.

Chadwick, Edward Marion
1897  The People of the Longhouse. ICIBinding Corporation.

Chalmers, Alan, and Eva Zányi
2010  Multi-Sensory Virtual Environments for Investigating the Past. Virtual Archaeology Review 1: 13–16.

Chapdelaine, Claude
1993  The Sedentarization of the Prehistoric Iroquoians: A Slow or Rapid Transformation? Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 12(2): 173–209.

Charest, Michelle
2009  Thinking Through Living: Experience and the Production of Archaeological Knowledge. Archaeologies 5(3): 416–445.

Cooper, David
2003  A Virtual Dig—Joining Archaeology and Fiction to Promote Critical and Historical Thinking. The Social Studies.

Cooper, Martin S, M S Cooper, D a Robertson, and D a Robertson
1993  The Norton Site (AfHh-86): The Rediscovery of a Late Iroquoian Village in London, Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 56(Figure 3): 0–33.

Cox, G.,
2010   The Shrine of the Hunters at Çatalhöyük. Video, https://youtu.be/pAV8z6NesOA, accessed June 3, 2015.

Creese, John L.
2012a  The Domestication of Personhood: a View from the Northern Iroquoian Longhouse. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 22(03): 365–386.

2012b  Post Molds and Preconceptions: New Observations about Iroquoian Longhouse Architecture. Northeast Anthropology(77): 47–69.

2012c  The Domestication of Personhood: a View from the Northern Iroquoian Longhouse. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 22(03): 365–386.

Dasgupta , S.
2006   Encyclopedia of virtual communities and technologies. Hershey, PA : PA Idea Group Reference .

Dallas, Costi
2009  From artefact typologies to cultural heritage ontologies: or, an account of the lasting impact of archaeological computing. Archeologia e Calcolatori 20: 205–221.

Dawson, P., R. Levy, and N. Lyons
2011  “Breaking the fourth wall”: 3D virtual worlds as tools for knowledge repatriation in archaeology. Journal of Social Archaeology 11(3): 387–402.

Denard, Hugh
2012  A new introduction to the London Charter. Paradata and Transparency in Virtual Heritage Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities Series(Ashgate, 2012): 57–71.

Dobres, Marcia-Anne, and John Ernest Robb
2000  Agency in archaeology: Paradigm or platitude? BT  – Agency in archaeology. In Agency in archaeology, edited by John Ernest Robb and Marcia-Anne Dobres, pp. 271. Psychology Press.

Dornan, Jennifer L
2002  Agency and Archaeology: Past, Present, and Future Directions. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 9(4): 303–329.

Earl, Graeme
2013  Modeling in archaeology: computer graphic and other digital pasts. Perspectives on Science 21(2): 226–244.

Earl, Graeme, Tim Sly, Angeliki Chrysanthi, Patricia Murrieta-Flores, Constantinos Papadopoulos, Iza Romanowska, and David Wheatley
2013  Archaeology in the Digital Era. In 40th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), pp. 482. Amsterdam University Press.

Ferris, Neal
1999  Telling Tales : Interpretive Trends in Southern Ontario Late Woodland Archaeology. Ontario Archaeology 68: 1–62.

Fisher, Matthew, and Beth A Twiss-Garrity
2007  Remixing exhibits: Constructing participatory narratives with on-line tools to augment museum experiences. In Proceedings of the International Conference for Culture and Heritage Online.

Fitzgerald, William R
1979  The Hood site: Longhouse burials in an Historic Neutral village. Ontario Archaeology 32: 43–60.

1982  Lest the Beaver Run Loose: the Early 17Th Century Christianson Site and Trends in Historic Neutral Archaeology. Archaeological Survey of Canada Paper Mercury Series. 111: 364.

1984  An introduction to the Raymond Reid (HiHa-4) hamlet. Arch Notes 84: 3–24.

Forte, Maurizio
2011  Cyber-Archaeology : Notes on the simulation of the past. Virtual Archaeology Review 2(4): 7–18.

2014a  3D Archaeology : New Perspectives and Challenges — The Example of Çatalhöyük. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2(1): 1–29.

2014b  Virtual Reality and Cyberarchaeology. In 3D Recording and Modelling in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Theory and best practices., edited by Fabio Remondino and Stefano Campana, pp. 3–6. ArcheoPress. British Archaeological Reports (S2598), Oxford.

Forte, Maurizio, Sofia Pescarin, Eva Pietroni, and Claudio Rufa
2006  Multiuser interaction in an archaeological landscape: The Flaminia project. BAR International Series 1568: 189.

Franchi, Jorge
1994  Virtual reality: An overview. TechTrends 39(1): 23–26.

Frankland, Tom, and Graeme Earl
2011  Authority and authenticity in future archaeological visualisation. Original Citation: 62.

Frischer, Bernard
2008  From digital illustration to digital heuristics. Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies as Tools for Discovery in Archaeology 1805.

Frischer, Bernard, Franco Niccolucci, Nick Ryan, and Juan Barceló
2000  From CVR to CVRO: The Past, Present, and Future of Cultural Virtual Reality. VAST Conference on Virtual reality, Archeology, and Cultural Heritage, Arezzo, Italy.(November): 1–12.

Frischer, Bernard, and Premio Tartessos
2011  Art and Science in the Age of Digital Reproduction : From Mimetic Representation to Interactive Virtual Reality. Virtual Archaeology Review 2(4): 19–32.

Fritz, John M, and Fred T Plog
1970a  The Nature of Archaeological Explanation. American Antiquity 35(4): 405–412.

Gabellone, Francesco, Ivan Ferrari, and Davide Tanasi
2013  The reconstructive study of the Greek colony of Syracuse in a 3D stereoscopic movie for tourists and scholars. In Digital Heritage International Congress (DigitalHeritage), 2013, 2:pp. 693–700. IEEE.

Gerard-Little, Peregrine a., Michael B. Rogers, and Kurt a. Jordan
2012  Understanding the built environment at the Seneca Iroquois White Springs Site using large-scale, multi-instrument archaeogeophysical surveys. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(7): 2042–2048.

Gibbons, Garry
2010  Visualisation in archaeology: connecting research and practice. Virtual archaeology review 1(2): 13–17.

Giddings, Seth
2015  Simknowledge: What Museums Can Learn from Video Games. In The International Handbooks of Museum Studies: Museum Media, edited by Michelle Henning, pp. 145–164. First Edit. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Gill, Alyson A.
2009  Digitizing the Past: Charting New Courses in the Modeling of Virtual Landscapes. Visual Resources 25(4): 313–332.

Gillen, Julia
2012  Archaeology in a virtual world: Schome Park. In Discourse and Creativity, edited by R Jones. Pearson.

Gillings, Mark
2004  Using Computers in Archaeology: towards virtual pasts. Industrial Archaeology Review 26(2): 144–145.

2005  The real, the virtually real, and the hyperreal: The role of VR in archaeology. Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image: 223–239.

Goddard, P.
1999   Steve” Spaz” Williams & the Future of CGI. Take One: Film & Television in Canada, 8(24).

González-Tennant, Edward
2010  Virtual Archaeology and Digital Storytelling: A Report from Rosewood, Florida. The African Diaspora Archaeology Network 13(3 September): 1–27.

Gosden, Chris
2005  What do objects want? Journal of archaeological method and theory 12(3): 193–211.

Greengrass, Mark, and Lorna M. Hughes
2008  The Virtual Representation of the Past. The English Historical Review 1(512): 276.

Gregorio, Sergio
2009  Defining digital archaeology. In Archiving 2009: preservation strategies and imaging technologies for cultural heritage institutions and memory organizations: final program and proceedings, edited by William LeFurgy, pp. 92–95. IS&T’s Archiving Conference, 6. Society for Imaging Science & Technology.

Hall, Tony, Luigina Ciolfi, Liam Bannon, Mike Fraser, Steve Benford, John Bowers, Sten-olof Hellström, Shahram Izadi, Holger Schnädelbach, and Martin Flintham
2002  The Visitor as Virtual Archaeologist : Explorations in Mixed Reality Technology to Enhance Educational and Social Interaction in the Museum. Methods. VAST ’01: 91–97.

Harrower, Michael James, Kathleen M. O’Meara, Joseph J Basile, Clara J Hickman, Jennifer L Swerida, Ioana a Dumitru, Jacob L Bongers, Cameron J Bailey, and Edwin Fieldhouse
2014  If a picture is worth a thousand words…3D modelling of a Bronze Age tower in Oman. World Archaeology 46(1): 43–62.

Hart, John P, and Christina B Rieth
2002  Northeast Subsistence-Settlement Change : A . D . 700 – 1300. Bulletin 4. New York State Museum, Albany, New York.

Hart, John P.
2000  New Dates on Classic New York State Sites: Just How Old Are Those Longhouses? Northeast Anthropology.

Hart, John P., and Bernard K. Means
2002  Maize and Villages: A Summary and Critical Assessment of Current Northeast Early Late Prehistoric Evidence. Northeast Subsistence-Settlement Change: A.D. 700–1300 18: 345–358.

Hatch, James W, and Gregory H Bondar
2001  Late Woodland Palisaded Villages from Ontario to the Carolinas. In Archaeology of the Appalachian Highlands, edited by L P Sullivan and S C Prezzano, pp. 149–167.

Hayden, Brian
1977  Corporate Groups and the Late Ontario Longhouse. Ontario Archaeology(28): 3–16.

De Heras Ciechomski, Pablo, Branislav Ulicny, Rachel Cetre, and Daniel Thalmann
2004  A case study of a virtual audience in a reconstruction of an ancient Roman odeon in Aphrodisias. In VAST 2004: the 5th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Intelligent Cultural Heritage: incorporating 2nd Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage: Conscience-auditorium, Brussels and Ename Center, Oudenaarde, Belgium, edited by Yiorgos Chrysanthou, Kevin Cain, Neil Silberman, and Franco Niccolucci, pp. 9–17. EG workshop proceedings. Eurographics Association.

Hermon, Sorin.
2008  Reasoning In 3D: a Critical Appraisal of The Role of 3D Modelling and Virtual Reconstructions In Archaeology. In Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies As Tools For Discovery In Archaeology, pp. 36–45. Archaeopress Oxford.

Huggett, J.
2012a  What lies beneath: lifting the lid on archaeological computing. In Thinking Beyond the Tool: Archaeological Computing and the Interpretative Process, edited by A. Chrysanthi, P. Murrietta, Flores, and C. Papadopoulos, pp. 204–214. Archeopress.

2012b Lost in information? Ways of knowing and modes of representation in e-archaeology. World Archaeology 44(4): 538–552.

2013  Disciplinary issues: challenging the research and practice of computer applications in archaeology. In Archaeology in the Digital Era, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp. 13–24.

2015  A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology. Open Archaeology 1(1): 86–95.

Huvila, Isto
2013  The Unbearable Complexity of Documenting Intellectual Processes: Paradata and Virtual Cultural Heritage Visualisation. Human IT 12(01).

Johnson, Matthew H.
2012  Phenomenological Approaches in Landscape Archaeology*. Annual Review of Anthropology.

Jones, Eric E
2010  An analysis of factors influencing sixteenth and seventeenth century Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) settlement locations. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29(1): 1–14.

2014  Society for American Archaeology Using Viewshed Analysis to Explore Settlement Choice : A Case Study of the Onondaga Iroquois using viewshed analysis to explore settlement choice : a case study of the Onondaga Iroquois 71(3): 523–538.

Hodder, I.
2008   Multivocality and social archaeology. In Evaluating multiple narratives. pp. 196-20. Springer New York.

Jones, Eric E., and James W. Wood
2012  Using event-history analysis to examine the causes of semi-sedentism among shifting cultivators: A case study of the Haudenosaunee, AD 1500-1700. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(8): 2593–2603.

Jones, Quentin
1997  Virtual-Communities, Virtual Settlements & Cyber-Archaeology: A Theoretical Outline. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 3(3): 0–0.

Jordan, Kurt a.
2013  Incorporation and Colonization: Postcolumbian Iroquois Satellite Communities and Processes of Indigenous Autonomy. American Anthropologist 115(1): 29–43.

Kapches, Mima
1990  The spatial dynamics of Ontario Iroquoian longhouses. American Antiquity: 49–67.

2007  The Iroquoian longhouse: architectural and cultural identity. Archaeology of the Iroquois: Selected Reading and Research Sources: 174–188.

Keener, Craig S.
1999  An Ethnohistorical Analysis of Iroquois Assault Tactics Used against Fortified Settlements of the Northeast in the Seventeenth Century. Ethnohistory 46(4): 777–807.

Kemp, Simon
2015  Digital, Social & Mobile Worldwide in 2015. We Are Social.

Klein, Herbert
2007  From Romanticism to Virtual Reality: Charles Babbage, William Gibson and the Construction of Cyberspace. Interdisciplinary Humanities 24(1): 36–51.

Komlos, John
2003  An anthropometric history of early-modern France. European Review of Economic History 7(02): 159–189.

Lennox, Paul a, P a Lennox, J E Molto, and J E Molto
1995  The Archaeology and Physical Anthropology of the EC Row Site: A Springwells Phase Settlement, Essex County, Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 60: 0–5.

Levy, Richard, and Peter Dawson
2009  Using finite element methods to analyze ancient architecture: an example from the North American Arctic. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(10): 2298–2307.

Limp, W F, A Payne, S Winters, A Barnes, and J Cothren
2010  Approaching 3D Digital Heritage Data from a Multi-technology, Lifecycle Perspective. In CAA’ 2010 Fusion of Cultures, edited by F Contreras and F J Melero, pp. 1–8. Granada, Spain.

MacDonald, Robert
1987  Notes on longhouse storage cubicles. Arch-Notes 87(3): 5–11.

1988  Ontario Iroquoian sweat lodges. Ontario Archaeology 48: 17–26.

MacNeish, Richard S
1952  A possible early site in the Thunder Bay district, Ontario. Edmond Cloutier, Queen’s Printer and Controller of Stationery.

Martinez, Philippe
2001  Digital realities and archaeology. In Proceedings of the 2001 conference on Virtual reality, archeology, and cultural heritage – VAST ’01, pp. 9. ACM Press.

Merriman, Nick
2004  Public archaeology. North. Routledge.

Miller, Paul, and Julian Richards
1995  The good, the bad, and the downright misleading: archaeological adoption of computer visualisation. BAR INTERNATIONAL SERIES 600: 19.

Morgan, Colleen L.
2009  (Re)Building Çatalhöyük: Changing Virtual Reality in Archaeology. Archaeologies 5(3): 468–487.

Morgan, Lewis Henry
1881  Houses and House-life of the American Aborigines. Volume IV. Vol. 4. US Government Printing Office, Washington.

Moser, Stephanie, and Sam Smiles
2008  Introduction: The Image in Question. In Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image, pp. 1–12. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK.

Mullins, P. R
2001  Agency in archaeology. American Antiquity. Vol. 66.

Niccolucci, F.
2007  Virtual museums and archaeology: an international perspective. Archeologia e Calcolatori Supplement: 15–30.

Nicholas, George P., and Kelly P. Bannister
2004  Copyrighting the Past? Emerging Intellectual Property Rights Issues in Archaeology. Current Anthropology.

Noble, William C
1975  Corn and the development of village life in southern Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 25: 37–46.

Norcliffe, G B, and C E Heidenreich
1974  The preferred orientation of Iroquoian longhouses in Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 23(3): 3–30.

O’Gorman, Jodie A
2010  Exploring the Longhouse and Community in Tribal Society. American Antiquity 75(3): 571–597.

Paardekooper, Roeland
2010  Experimental archaeology. In Encyclopedia of Archaeology, pp. 1345–1358. Elsevier Inc.

Palombini, Augusto, and Sofia Pescarin
2011  Virtual archaeology and museums, an Italian perspective. Virtual archaeology review 2(4): 151–154.

Papadopoulos, Constantinos, and Graeme Earl
2012  Formal three-dimensional computational analyses of archaeological spaces. In Spatial analysis and social spaces, pp. 135–166. DE GRUYTER, Berlin, Boston.

Papaioannou, Georgios, Evaggelia Aggeliki Karabassi, and Theoharis Theoharis
2001  Virtual Archaeologist: Assembling the past. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 21(2): 53–59.

Patay-Horváth, András
2013  The virtual 3D reconstruction of the east pediment of the temple of Zeus at Olympia an old puzzle of classical archaeology in the light of recent technologies. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 1(1): 12–22.

Pauketat, Timothy R., and Susan M. Alt
2005  Agency in a postmold? Physicality and the archaeology of culture-making. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 12(3): 213–237.

Perry, Sara
2015  Crafting knowledge with (digital) visual media in archaeology. In Material Evidence. Learning from archaeological practice., edited by R. Chapman and A. Wylie, pp. 189–210. Routledge, New York and London.

Pletinckx, Daniel, and Premio Tartessos
2011  Virtual Archaeology as an Integrated Preservation Method. Virtual Archaeology Review 2: 33–37.

Pringle, M J, and M R Moulding
1997  Applications for virtual reality, and associated information technology, in the illustration of archaeological material. Graphic archaeology: 22–34.

Pujol Tost, L
2004  Archaeology, Museums and Virtual Reality. DigitHUM Revista Digital dHumanitats(6).

Pujol Tost, Laia
2008  Does virtual archaeology exist? In Layers of perception: proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Berlin, Germany, April 2-6, 2007, edited by Axel Posluschny, Karsten Lambers, and Irmela Herzog, pp. 101–107. Kolloquien zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Bd. 10. Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH.

Punzalan, Ricardo L
2014  Understanding virtual reunification. The Library 84(3).

Reilly, P.
1989  Data visualization in archaeology. IBM Systems Journal 28(4): 569–579.

1991  Towards a Virtual Archaeology. CAA90. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 1990: 132–139.

2015  Putting the materials back into Virtual Archaeology. St. Petersburg.

Richards-Rissetto, Heather, Fabio Remondino, Giorgio Agugiaro, Jennifer Von Schwerin, Jim Robertsson, and Gabrio Girardi
2012  Kinect and 3D GIS in archaeology. In Proceedings of the 2012 18th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2012: Virtual Systems in the Information Society, pp. 331–337.

Richardson, Lorna
2013  A Digital Public Archaeology? Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 23(1): 1–12.

Robb, John
2010  Beyond agency. World archaeology 42(4): 493–520.

Rua, Helena, and Pedro Alvito
2010  Reliving the Past: 3D Models and Virtual Reality as Supporting Tools for Archaeology and the Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage: The case study of the Roman Villa of Freiria. In Virtual Reality, pp. 1–10.

Ryan, Nick
2001  Documenting and validating Virtual Archaeology. Archeologia e Calcolatori 12: 245–273.

Salmond, Amiria
2012  Digital subjects, cultural objects: Special issue introduction. Journal of Material Culture 17(3): 211–228.

Schrecker, Anne
1976  Spatial Concepts in Primitive Building: Toward A Phenomenology of Architectural Form. University of Toronto.

Slator, B.M., J.T. Clark, J., III Landrum, A. Bergstrom, J. Hawley, E. Johnston, and S. Fisher
2001  Teaching with immersive virtual archaeology. Proceedings Seventh International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia.

Styliani, Sylaiou, Liarokapis Fotis, Kotsakis Kostas, and Patias Petros
2009  Virtual museums, a survey and some issues for consideration. Journal of Cultural Heritage.

Sutherland, Ivan E.
1965  The Ultimate Display. In Proceedings of IFIP Congress 1965, pp. 506–508.

Thomas, Julian
1996  Time, culture, and identity : an interpretative archaeology. Material cultures. Routledge.

Watts, Christopher M.
2009  Coming to our Senses: Toward a Unified Perception of the Iroquoian Longhouse. In Archaeology and the Politics of Vision in a Post-Modern Context, edited by J. Thomas and V. Jorge, pp. 209–224. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Wilk, R., and W. L. Rathje
1982  Household Archaeology. American Behavioral Scientist.

Williams-Shuker, Kimberly, and Kathleen M S Allen
1998  Longhouse Remains at the Carman Site: Paper Presented at the Cayuga Museum Northeast Archaeological Symposium, October 23-24, 1998.

Williamson, Ronald F.
2004  Replication or Interpretation of the Iroquoian Longhouse. In The Reconstructed Past: Reconstrucions in the Public Interpretation of Archaeology and History, edited by John H. Jameson, Jr., pp. 147–166. Altamira Press, New York.

2007  The Taking and Displaying of Human Body Parts as Trophies by Amerindians. Ed. Richard J. Chacon and David H. Dye. The taking and displaying of human body parts as trophies by Amerindians. Interdisciplinary contributions to archaeology. Springer US, Boston, MA.

2009  Longhouse Heating Experiment Ska-Nah-Doht Village, Longwoods Conservation Authority (1979). Toronto.

Williamson, Ronald F, and Robert I MacDonald

2015  Echoes of the Iroquois Wars: Contested Heritage and Identity in the Ancestral Homeland of the Huron-Wendat. In Identity and Heritage, edited by Peter F. Biehl, Douglas C. Comer, Christopher Prescott, and Hilary A Soderland, pp. 97–106. SpringerBriefs in Archaeology. Springer International Publishing, New York.

Williamson, Ronald F., David G Smith, Robert J Pearce, and Rodolphe J. Fecteau
1979  The Longhouse Experiment : An Experience In Iroquoian Archaeology. Toronto.

Wintemberg, William J
1900  Indian village sites in the counties of Oxford and Waterloo. Annual Archaeological Report of the Ontario Provincial Museum appended to the Report of the Minister of Education: 37–40.

Wintemberg, William John
1939  Lawson Prehistoric Village Site, Middlesex County, Ontario. Vol. 94. JO Patenaude, printer.

1972  Roebuck Prehistoric Village Site, Grenville County, Ontario.

Woodwark, J.
1991   Reconstructing history with computer graphics. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 1:18-20.

Zimbra, D., A. Abbasi, and H. Chen
2010  A Cyber-archaeology Approach to Social Movement Research: Framework and Case Study. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 16(1): 48–70.

Zubrow, E.
2006   Digital Archaeology. Digital Archaeology. Bridging method and theory, London, pp. 10-31.

Zuk, T, S Carpendale, and W D Glanzman
2005  Visualizing temporal uncertainty in 3D virtual reconstructions. In VAST 2005: the 6th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Intelligent Cultural Heritage, incorporating 3rd Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage: ISTI-CNR Pisa, Italy, November 8-11, 2005, pp. 99–106. Eurographics Association.

 

Tuza’s, Mac Classic’s, Archaeology and Mentors

This is a true story.  About 24 years ago I was a fresh faced and rather wayward youth trying to figure out how to survive in University.  I had been attending UWO for a combined Honours in Anthropology and Visual Arts with a specialization in Archaeology.  One of my classes was with the extremely popular Dr. Michael Spence, who I credit today along with Dr. Corrine Mandel (Renaissance Art History) for kicking my ass into high gear.

Mike’s class was in Mesoamerican Archaeology.  He’d regale us with stories about his adventures in Central America and one particular story caught my attention.  As is the practice, Mike would cut the walls and floor of his excavation squares every night before he left the site.  He’d make sure that it was as clean as possible and then trundle off for the nightly activities.  In the morning he’d come back and there would be holes in the sides of the walls, up through the middle of the floor and generally a mess.  The little culprit, or several, was a Zygotes trichopus or more commonly known in Mexico as a Tuza.  Tuza’s are a Mexican pocket gopher and their nightly activities were the bane of Mike Spence’s nightly ritual.

If I remember correctly, Mike was looking for a burial of some sort and one morning, after a another night of Tuza excavation hole destruction, he found perched on top a human talus.  The Tuza found and excavated what Mike couldn’t.  His story inspired me to write my final undergraduate student paper on Faunalturbation; soil displacement due to animal interaction.  I can’t remember the mark he gave me, but I know he was amused.

Mac_ClassicIIThis was back in 1991 and my future wife and I had pooled our student loan money to buy an Apple Classic II and an Apple printer.  Apple had a word processing software application and a very rudimentary pixel based drawing application which I put both to good use.  The computer replaced an electric typewriter, which to my dismay was probably the worst piece of technology for someone like me to use.  Let’s just say that this computer unleashed the ability to revise, edit and format in a way the typewriter couldn’t.

For the paper I drew my first computer image.  I laugh at it now but I can remember the frustration I had trying to do fine detail in that clunky squarish mouse.  The image below looks childish and amateurish now, but I do remember getting some kudos for applying it to some form of archaeological illustration.

Tuza_Excavation

 

As was student life, I worked manual labour in the summer in order to save money for the following school year.  I had been working for a industrial laundry delivery service and one of my stops in North York Toronto was a greasy spoon beside the little offices of the Ontario Archaeological Society.  I had totally by chance found the OAS and took a chance one day and walked up to the second floor offices to check the place out.  ca19e33848e8aabaLuckily Charles “Charlie” Garrad, who was president at the time was there and we hit it off immediately.  During my weekly stops, I’d take the clock off the meter and spend twenty or thirty minutes every week talking with Charlie about archaeology, his passion (Petun) and how a young hopeful archaeologist can make it in the profession.

I can’t remember how it came about, but Charlie recommended that I could publish my Tuza paper in Arch Notes, which was/is the OAS’s community quasi-peer reviewed (Charlie at the time) publication. It was probably the nicest thing anybody in the industry had done for me and I was grateful to Charlie for it. Thus in August of 1992, I published my first paper (that you can download here); Digging without a Degree: Understanding the Nature of the Silent Mexican Archaeologist: Zygotes trichopus.

To my knowledge nobody has ever referenced it, but as an undergraduate student piece in 1991, I was darn proud of it.  Later, I used that research to good use when we encountered the North American version in a site, but I think faunalturbation is an interesting topic that deserves a little more attention!

My first draft PhD Proposal

**Update the final approved PhD Proposal can be viewed here**

 

First Draft:

VIRTUAL ARCHAEOLOGY, VIRTUAL LONGHOUSES AND “ENVISIONING THE UNSEEN” WITHIN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD

ABSTRACT

In reimagining a 15th century Northern Iroquoian Longhouse within a virtual 3D environment we attempt to address issues of agency, authenticity, authority and most importantly, transparency within virtual heritage reconstructions. Virtual Archaeology and our ability to harness the technology in an applied, innovative and experiential way has allowed scholars, Descendants and the public to “envision the unseen” within the archaeological record. As such, archaeological virtual reconstruction through virtual reality has become a powerful tool in the interpretation of archaeological landscapes and artifacts as a means of knowledge building and meaning making. Thus, Virtual Archaeology is moving from being evidenced based to evidence informed through a natural progression allowed by the evolution of technology and growth of capabilities, user experience and expectation.

INTRODUCTION

In the 1960’s, Ivan Sutherland envisioned a time in the near future in which people would be able to physically enter into an alternative, “digital” world. With the ability to not only see the environment around them, but also the ability to touch, smell, hear and be affected by the environment itself; a unique digital phenomenological experience where the viewer becomes participant and builds on his or her own personal narrative in a non-linear almost life-like virtual experience (see Sutherland 1965).

Within the study and practice of archaeology, we have seen amazing leaps and bounds over the last 20 years in the use of digital technology to inform and scaffold the theories and methods of archaeological research. My proposal is to harness those technologies, theories and methodologies to approach virtual archaeology from a phenomenological perspective in order to empower stakeholders, may they be scholar, Descendent or public within archaeology proper. Dawson, Levy and Lyons called this phenomenological experience presence; “the emotional connectedness of being transported to another time and place” (see Dawson et al. 2011). Although their study group were descendent participants, can this same experience be true for non-descendants as well? Can archaeologist use this technology and methodology in a phenomenological way to envision what isn’t seen in the archaeological record to better inform current and future research (see Watts 2009)?

To situate this research, I propose to virtually reimagine a prototypical Northern Iroquoian longhouse within an interactive virtual 3D environment. Using existing archaeological data gleaned from excavations of Iroquoian longhouses, oral and historical accounts as well as theoretical opinions on longhouse construction methodologies; I will reimagine a 3D Iroquoian Longhouse within a virtual environment. By referencing the known archaeological data, I will attempt to build the longhouse step by step, which will hopefully inform and suggest what challenges and ingenuities Iroquoian builders faced themselves. Once built, I will place this reconstructed model within a virtual delivery platform so that stakeholders, namely heritage professionals, may experience a sense of “presence” within the virtual world. This will be accomplished with the addition of simulated atmospherics such as natural and artificial (fire hearth) light, particle systems that simulate dust, pollen and smoke as well as the addition of natural sounds that would accompany living within these massive architectural marvels. In following The London Charter, a template for working with heritage assets within the virtual environment, I hope to provide a weekly blog that will discuss the insights, challenges and discoveries as I build this virtual longhouse environment. Called “paradate”, this additional information of the process and decisions being made during the 3D assets building and implementation, will allow scholarly engagement and transparency as we continue along the path of virtual simulation.

Lastly, I intend to seek professional opinions from the archaeological community themselves, not only during the building stage through blogs, Twitter or personal outreach, but by allowing heritage professionals to experience the virtual environment first hand. These initial sessions and the reactions and opinions generated will lay the groundwork for future public and Descendent engagements as the project hopefully moves from the research to public deployment stage.

BACKGROUND and CONTEXT

I graduated with an Honours Bachelor in Visual Arts and Archaeology in 1993 and immediately went to work as a “Salvage Archaeologist” on a multi-stratified mitigation site that contained among other eras, a late Iroquoian level, over a 6 month period. During those long hours of labour intensive test pits, bad weather and accidently destroyed post hole stains, I envisioned and yearned for an alternative “computer aided archaeology” predictive methodology to determine longhouse pole placement and positioning. Something that would not only allow researchers to predict where the positions of poles would be but also allow stakeholders (researchers, descendants, the public) to enter in and interact with a 3D “virtual” recreation of a longhouse directly on site using the archaeological data as a starting point.

Paul Reilly had coined the term Virtual Archaeology in 1991 and the use of 3D visualization was starting to take hold in archaeological research and practice. Empowered with a vision to combine my archaeology and visual arts skills for 3D visualization, thus I applied to Sheridan College in 1994 for their Computer Graphics program and upon completion was accepted into their prestigious post-graduate Computer Animation program with the sole goal of learning the technology to enable “Virtual Archaeology of Longhouse Sites”. Unfortunately the practice and use of technology in archaeology was still in its infancy within Ontario and Canadian archaeology, so pressed with a career choice of multiple offers within the new and rapidly expanding 3D Animation and VFX industry or struggling to be heard within archaeology, I chose the latter which propelled me on a twenty year journey as a film and television 3D animation and VFX industry expert.

Virtual Archaeology has now become a highly debated topic that is now contested not only by the stakeholders it tries to serve, but the practitioners of the theories and methodologies who strive to improve academic rigor and the virtual experience for an ever sophisticated, participatory audience. As technology has increased, what was only a dream 20 years ago can now be made into reality. The process of creating virtual archeological landscapes, objects and environments has also become less of a “black art”, allowing for non-artists to engage in designing, developing and deploying more and more sophisticated heritage inspired virtual reconstructions.

The study of Northern Iroquoian longhouses is a mercurial archaeological endeavour. Fragments of these once grand physical manifestations of social, cultural and political agency within the Late Iroquoian phases of the Ontario complex (Birch & Williamson 2013) are little more than “ghosts” below the soil line within the archaeological landscape. Soil stains are all that remain of the supporting posts and exterior walls of these unique cultural buildings representing only a small glimpse into how these dwellings once functioned or even looked.

These soil stains and the cultural material associated in and around the boundaries of these transitory structures, as well as historical Eurocentric writings and drawings and the oral traditions of descendent cultural groups, are what now form our archaeological understandings of the lifecycle of a longhouse, and more importantly, the cultural significance these structures played within Iroquoian life (Woodworth 1998). However, the enigma is that our understanding arising from these data points is imaginatively speculative at best and thus the challenge is to not only visualize these lost cultural manifestations, but also to embody all of the senses that the archaeological landscape cannot preserve; the haptic, olfactory and auditory – in other words the phenomenological (see Watts 2009). The ability to experience the application of sight, sound, smell, and touch in context, helps to embody the overall phenomenological archaeological experience (Dawson et al. 2011) and in turn may provide further understanding to the archaeological record. These are some of the challenges that frame the current debate on what a longhouse is and how it shapes our understanding of the lifeway of the people who thrived within these architectural representations of Iroquoian culture.

PRIOR RESEARCH 

Longhouses occupy a special narrative amongst descendent Iroquoian societies and modern archeologists. An active and engaged oral tradition has given the longhouse a spiritual existence in which the North American modern day longhouse continues to be a powerful symbol of community for those descendent populations, representing an architectural lineage that exemplifies agency and a unique way of life (see Heidenreich 1972; Kapches 1994; Mohawk 1978; O’Gorman 2010; Watts 2009; Woodworth 1998).   At the base level, the longhouse represents community in both physical and metaphysical traditions, embodying the physical to convey societal, cultural and political worldviews (Hayden 1968; Heidenreich 1972; Mohawk 1978; O’Gorman 2010; Ramsden 2009; Varley & Cannon 1994). For Iroquoian culture, the longhouse was a symbol of how the community functioned and was politically structured within their larger world, forming the boundaries of their influence, and symbolic of the longhouse itself (see Allen & Williams-Shuker 1998; Heidenreich 1972; O’Gorman 2010; Mohawk 1978). Though limited physical remnants remain of these structures, they are subjectively alive in the contested colonial writings and descriptions of historical explorers, the oral traditions of cultural descendants and the visual imagination of modern writers and filmmakers (Boyden 2013; Heidenreich 1972; Thwates 1896-1901).

Although the archaeological record reveals several centuries of longhouse and village-like settlement patterns for the Late Woodland, the modern perception of what a longhouse hypothetically looked and felt like is really derived from the latter part of the Late Woodland (sometimes referred to as the Terminal Woodland; see Ferris and Spence 1995), where archaeological and historical data come together to provide a general “convention” for what a longhouse “should be” (Snow 1997; Williamson 2004; Wright 1995). Further, it is these idealized non-native interpretations that continue to reinforce not only the academic but also the public’s notion of what a longhouse was and is (Williamson 2004). It is from these qualitative and quantitative data points that we will explore what a longhouse is physically within the archaeological and historical record.

My understanding of the visualization of longhouses from the archaeological record arises principally from the work of four archaeologists; J.V. Wright, Mima Kapches, Christine Dodd and Dean Snow. Due to the lack of any real physical evidence, models of longhouse use, style, agency, and construction have been hotly contested for decades (see Kapches 1994; Snow 1997; Williamson 2004; Wright 1995). The work of these archaeologists, in combination with continued observations and challenges from other exemplary researchers, form a base of understanding that helps to frame how longhouses were constructed. Using Dodd’s extensive quantitative research gleaned from an exhaustive review of longhouse data derived from field excavations (1984) and based on the qualitative and quantitative observations of Wright (1971), Kapches (1994) and Snow (1997) among others, a basic template for the construction of longhouses emerges. It is this template we seek to replicate virtually.

With rapid advancements in technology, there now exists a cornucopia of progressively successful attempts to engage the archaeological record within virtual reality or virtual archaeology. As with most applications of theory in reality, there too is a split between the qualitative and the quantitative nature of the technology and how it is implemented. Reilly, Barceló, Frischer and others see the digital tools, the process and the outcomes as part and parcel of the quantitative, scientific nature of archaeological research; data that should be represented by and through scientific means. Dawson, Levy, Lyons and Forte, see virtual archaeology as a phenomenological emotional experience in which the participant isn’t a passive viewer, but an equal partner in the exploration of the multivocal archaeological landscape. Where the data, material culture and the visual (re)imagination of the archaeological environment are engaged through the users eyes.

The transformative nature of technology and in particular our ability to manipulate digital data freely, whether visual or not, has given form to a multivocal approach to the interpretation of the archaeological record (Forte 2011, 2014a, 2014b). Following Hodder, Forte sees multivocal engagement within virtual archaeology as the ability to allow for multiple voices to engage and contribute to the overall interpretation of the virtual archaeological environment (2008; 2011, 2014a, 2014b). This authentic multivocal experience can lead to new research questions and hypotheses, disrupting the notion of the archaeologist as the interpreter of the “truth” (Earl 2013; Forte 2014b). As (digital) archaeologists, we are no longer the singular authoritative voice, but providers of material and assets in which stakeholders and the public themselves can construct and reimagine their own cultural presence within virtual space (see Earl 2013 & Perry 2014; Dasgupta 2006; Forte 2011 & 2014b).

Virtual reality by definition is an interpretation of self within a different space, time or plane (see Sutherland 1965). It is narrative generating and thus both the technology and the process of creating virtual reality have borrowed heavily from the entertainment industry (see Frankland and Earl 2011 and Denard 2012). In doing so, by taking a creative approach to the interpretation of the archaeological data, the agency of that data is now layered upon and seen through the creators lens; what “artist’s impression” intend the virtual space to convey (see Earl 2013; Frankland and Earl 2011; Frischer et al. 2000; Moser and Smiles 2008; Perry 2015).

The digital reproduction of objects, landscapes and narratives have agency both in the real and virtual worlds and as such must be treated with equal consideration and respect (Earl 2013; Forte 2014a; Huggett 2012a, 2015; Pauketat and Alt 2005; Richardson 2013; Robb 2010). Virtual archaeology is moving from being evidenced based to evidence informed through a natural progression allowed by the evolution of technology and growth of capabilities, user experience and expectation.

Technology is at the point where we can provide an almost hyper-real experience to the participant viewer, may they be scholar, descendant or the public (Frankland and Earl 2011; Forte 2014a; Gabellone et al. 2013; Giddings 2015; Morgan 2009; Moser and Smiles 2008). Further, that same technology allows the particpant to interpret and modify the objects and material being displayed/provided, giving them the ability to reorder, reinterpret or remix at will (Fisher and Twiss-Garrity 2007; Frankland and Earl 2011). These are the machinations that now loom over virtual archaeology.

The London Charter has provided practitioners with a set of guidelines which attempt an assurance of authenticity and authority over Digital (virtual) archaeology (Denard 2012; Gabellone et al. 2013). Dawson, Levy and Lyons provide one example of how participants can obtain presence within a virtual archaeological landscape, as well as demonstrating that the foundations of The London Charter can be implemented effectively to maintain rigorous archaeological authority over the virtual material being provided. Our challenge is providing archaeological data to non-archaeologists in ways that are recognizable as visualizations and virtual experiences.

RESEARCH QUESTION(S) 

# 1

What is a longhouse? What data and assumptions within archaeological, historical, and oral traditions go into informing our understanding of what an ancestral northern Iroquoian “longhouse” was and is? What are the challenges and opportunities these divergent lines of evidence present to our efforts to build, engage, and research this form of habitation within virtual contexts?

#2

How has virtual reality been used in archaeology and heritage studies and what might be achievable in the future considering current and upcoming technological advances. How can virtual reconstructions facilitate transformative and innovative research in archaeology?

#3

Ancient, immersive archaeological landscapes and settings can provide audiences with a real sense of being in a place and space; but these are only approximations based on interpretation, supposition, and artistic license. How are issues of authenticity addressed, or not, when developing virtual spaces, and what are some of the main issues when immersive representations are presented as, or assumed to be, authentic? Should intended and unintended audiences only experience virtual representations of the past passively, or should they be able to engage with and challenge the context they explore against what “feels” right to them, whether they are scholar, Descendant or public?

GOALS

We have seen with Dawson, Levy and Lyons that an embodied experience for descendent stakeholders is not only empowering to the participant but beneficial to the archaeologist in unlocking unintended knowledge that further enriches the archaeological record (2011). That digital reproduction of objects, landscapes and narratives do have agency both in the real and virtual worlds and as such must be treated with equal consideration and respect (Earl 2013; Forte 2014b; Huggett 2012a, 2015; Pauketat and Alt 2005; Richardson 2013; Robb 2010). As such virtual archaeology is moving from being evidenced based to evidence informed through a natural progression allowed by the evolution of technology and growth of capabilities, user experience and expectation.

By using the archaeological record as it pertains to the physicality of longhouse construction and use, we are able to envision the unseen. Many cultural, economic, societal and environmental factors help to inform this inquiry, however my desire and goal is to develop both a theoretical and virtual model of the fundamental features of a longhouse that is the manifestation of the dynamic archeological landscape, oral and written histories as well as the creative imagination of the artists and technicians who will ultimately be tasked with digitally reimagining these elusive, iconic and culturally significant architectural symbols of the Northern Iroquoian existence (Watts 2009; Woodworth 1998).

Lastly, archaeological virtual reconstruction through virtual reality has become a powerful tool in the interpretation of archaeological landscapes and artifacts as a means of knowledge building and meaning making (see Dallas 2009, Earl 2013, Forte 2014a & 2014b, Huggett 2013 & Perry 2014). It has become a “mediating tool” allowing researchers to experiment with the data and to tease out the tensions that arise from a multivocal environment (see Dallas 2009 & Earl 2013). These alternate visions help to “stimulate interpretation” creating multi-channeled narratives which spur on additional and unforeseen research questions (Earl 2013). As such, what is apparent is that the practice/study/craft has transcended beyond the internal realm of archaeological study to be fully accepted externally as representative of archaeological studies without it really establishing itself as an accepted cannon of archaeological research (see Earl 2013 & Perry 2014).

METHODS

A strong theoretical foundation of my research will reflect elements such as agency, authority, authenticity and transparency as it is relates to virtual archaeology and archaeology in general. Using reflexivity and critical testing, I hope to understand and demonstrate the application of phenomenology, virtual reality and virtual archaeology to facilitate transformative and innovative research within Iroquoian archaeology, providing a template for future use and deployment within other fields of archaeological study.

My research will be informed by and include theoretical elements from Dawson, Levy and Lyons (phenomenology and presence), Reilly, Barceló, Frischer, Forte, Dallas, Huggett, Gillings (virtual archaeology) and Watts, Ferris, Robb, Frankland, Earl, Perry, Gosden, Denard (agency, authenticity, authority and transparency) among others.

My project will incorporate existing academic literature, research and data as it pertains to the knowledge in the construction methodologies and visualizations of Northern Iroquoian Longhouses primarily influenced by Dodd, Kapches, Wright, Snow and Williamson among others in the field.

I will test my hypothesis by engaging with the archaeological and heritage community to participate and engage with the project in a contextual manner, so as to measure their level of interest in using these techniques in their own areas of specialization and interest. To further determine if these methodologies meet the academic rigor while also providing an informed, innovative and experiential application of archaeological research and community engagement.

TIMELINE AND FUNDING

Year 1: Literature review and research on Northern Iroquoian Longhouse use and construction, the previous and current uses of Virtual Archaeology within archaeological discord and the theoretical and methodological concerns of the representation of heritage material and landscapes within virtual environments.

Year 2: Review and research the application of virtual reality production and virtual reality platforms suited to a robust, interactive and phenomenological multivocal virtual archaeological experience. This will also include gap-filling research on areas of concentration in Year 1 and the development of a “paradata” methodology to allow for the transparent engagement with the research process.

Year 3: The recruitment of computer animation knowledge experts, the development, creation and application of 3D assets, the decision and implementation of a virtual reality delivery platform and consolidation and the analysis of the final virtual reality experience by members of the archaeological community.

As I am a part-time PhD student, I am ineligible for research funding. However, as the full-time administrative Director of a graduate program in Digital Media at the Ryerson University, I have access to the technological hardware and software resources needed in the design, development and deployment of a virtual reality project. Further, this project is being generously funded by the Dr. Neal Ferris from the Museum of Ontario Archaeology/Sustainable Archaeology and Dr. Ron Williamson from Archaeological Services Inc. to allow for the hiring of artistic and technical specialists.

CONCLUSION / IMPLICATIONS, IMPACT AND DISSEMINATION

I am proposing to design, develop and implement a method for the visualization of archaeological data and speculative academic insight within virtual archaeological environments. That this method is grounded in the theories that have formed around the study of virtual archaeology, specifically: agency, authenticity, authority and transparency. In doing so, by using an area of personal interest, I hope to build upon the continued work of Dodd, Wright, Kapches and Snow with regards to Northern Iroquoian longhouse construction and use.

The potential implications of this project could entail the lack of sufficient archaeological, oral and historical data to effectively visualize a Northern Iroquoian longhouse. As such, academic and artistic license as well as time and cost of production will be required to enable only one potential visual interpretation. That the intended technology cannot delivery the virtual effect intended or that the artistic or technical talent required is either unavailable or beyond the scope of my personal skills.

The impact of this study could be substantial. Apart from the pioneering phenomenological work done by Dawson, Levy and Lyons, current research has indicated that no other project is attempting to phenomenologically recreate a 3D virtual Iroquoian Longhouse to the level and sophistication usually reserved for high-end gaming or film production. Further, following the recent development of The London Charter, this project will endeavor to develop a body of transparent knowledge, which is community based and encourages debate and opinion throughout the visualization process. Lastly this project will impact and contribute to the ongoing research and debate on virtual archaeology, it’s application, use and substantial contribution to the study and discipline of archaeology.

This project will be disseminated in multiple forms. The 3D virtual environment and all assets will be made available as an open source tool for the continued use by scholars, Descendants and the public. The accompanying blog and Twitter feeds will provide an ongoing deployment of “paradata” to support the development of continued debate and development of the virtual environment. A conference paper will be proposed and it is my intention to publish on the findings of this work.

PRELIMINARY BIBLIOGRPAHY

 

Barceló, Juan
2000 Visualizing what might be: an introduction to virtual reality techniques in archaeology. In Virtual Reality in Archaeology: Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 1998. BAR International Series 843, edited by Juan Barceló, Maurizio Forte, and D. Sanders, pp. 9–36. ArcheoPress. British Archaeological Reports (S843), Oxford.
2001 Virtual Reality for archaelogical explanation. Beyond“ picturesque” reconstruction. Archeologia e Calcolatori(12): 221–244.
2012 Computer simulation in archaeology. Art, science or nightmare? . Virtual Archaeology Review 3(5): 8–12.

Barker, Alex W.
2010 Exhibiting Archaeology: Archaeology and Museums. Annual Review of Anthropology.

Beacham, Richard
2006 Oh, to make boards to speak! There is a task! Towards a poetics of paradata. In: Greengrass M and Hughes L (eds) The Virtual Representation of the Past. Farnham: Ashgate: 171–178.

Beale, G, and P Reilly
2014 Additive Archaeology: the spirit of virtual archaeology reprinted. In Archaeological Research in the Digital Age: Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Greek Chapter (CAA-GR), Institute for Mediterranean Studies – Foundation of Research and Technology (IMS-FORTH), edited by C. Papadopoulos, E. Paliou, A. Chrysanthi, E. Kotoula, and A. Sarris, pp. 122–130. Rethymno.

Beauchamp, William Martin
1905 Aboriginal use of wood in New York. New York State Education Dept.

Birch, Jennifer, and Ronald F Williamson
2012 The Mantle Site: An Archaeological History of an Ancestral Wendat Community. AltaMira Press.
2013 Organizational complexity in ancestral Wendat communities. In From Prehistoric Villages to Cities: Settlement Aggregation and Community Transformation, edited by Jennifer Birch, 10:pp. 153–178. Routledge, New York.
2015 Navigating ancestral landscapes in the Northern Iroquoian world. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39: 139–150.

Brown, D., and G. Nicholas
2012 Protecting indigenous cultural property in the age of digital democracy: Institutional and communal responses to Canadian First Nations and Maori heritage concerns. Journal of Material Culture 17(3): 307–324.

Bursey, Jeffrey a.
2001 Storage Behavior in the Northeast: a Review of the Evidence. North American Archaeologist 22(3): 179–199.

Campbell, Ian D, and Celina Campbell
1994 The impact of late woodland land use on the forest landscape of southern Ontario. The Great Lakes Geographer 1(1): 21–29.

Cargill, Robert R
2009 An Argument for Archaeological Reconstruction in Virtual Reality. Near Eastern archaeology 72(1): 28–41.

Carrozzino, Marcello, and Massimo Bergamasco
2010 Beyond virtual museums: Experiencing immersive virtual reality in real museums. Journal of Cultural Heritage 11(4): 452–458.

Ch’ng, Eugene
2009 Experiential archaeology: Is virtual time travel possible? Journal of Cultural Heritage 10(4): 458–470.

Chadwick, Edward Marion
1897 The People of the Longhouse. ICIBinding Corporation.

Chalmers, Alan, and Eva Zányi
2010 Multi-Sensory Virtual Environments for Investigating the Past. Virtual Archaeology Review 1: 13–16.

Chapdelaine, Claude
1993 The Sedentarization of the Prehistoric Iroquoians: A Slow or Rapid Transformation? Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 12(2): 173–209.

Charest, Michelle
2009 Thinking Through Living: Experience and the Production of Archaeological Knowledge. Archaeologies 5(3): 416–445.

Cooper, David
2003 A Virtual Dig—Joining Archaeology and Fiction to Promote Critical and Historical Thinking. The Social Studies.

Cooper, Martin S, M S Cooper, D a Robertson, and D a Robertson
1993 The Norton Site (AfHh-86): The Rediscovery of a Late Iroquoian Village in London, Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 56(Figure 3): 0–33.

Cox, G.,
2010 The Shrine of the Hunters at Çatalhöyük. Video, https://youtu.be/pAV8z6NesOA, accessed June 3, 2015.

Creese, John L.
2012a The Domestication of Personhood: a View from the Northern Iroquoian Longhouse. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 22(03): 365–386.
2012b Post Molds and Preconceptions: New Observations about Iroquoian Longhouse Architecture. Northeast Anthropology(77): 47–69.
2012c The Domestication of Personhood: a View from the Northern Iroquoian Longhouse. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 22(03): 365–386.

Dasgupta , S.
2006 Encyclopedia of virtual communities and technologies. Hershey, PA : PA Idea Group Reference .

Dallas, Costi
2009 From artefact typologies to cultural heritage ontologies: or, an account of the lasting impact of archaeological computing. Archeologia e Calcolatori 20: 205–221.

Dawson, P., R. Levy, and N. Lyons
2011 “Breaking the fourth wall”: 3D virtual worlds as tools for knowledge repatriation in archaeology. Journal of Social Archaeology 11(3): 387–402.

Denard, Hugh
2012 A new introduction to the London Charter. Paradata and Transparency in Virtual Heritage Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities Series(Ashgate, 2012): 57–71.

Dobres, Marcia-Anne, and John Ernest Robb
2000 Agency in archaeology: Paradigm or platitude? BT – Agency in archaeology. In Agency in archaeology, edited by John Ernest Robb and Marcia-Anne Dobres, pp. 271. Psychology Press.

Dornan, Jennifer L
2002 Agency and Archaeology: Past, Present, and Future Directions. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 9(4): 303–329.

Earl, Graeme
2013 Modeling in archaeology: computer graphic and other digital pasts. Perspectives on Science 21(2): 226–244.

Earl, Graeme, Tim Sly, Angeliki Chrysanthi, Patricia Murrieta-Flores, Constantinos Papadopoulos, Iza Romanowska, and David Wheatley
2013 Archaeology in the Digital Era. In 40th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), pp. 482. Amsterdam University Press.

Ferris, Neal
1999 Telling Tales : Interpretive Trends in Southern Ontario Late Woodland Archaeology. Ontario Archaeology 68: 1–62.

Fisher, Matthew, and Beth A Twiss-Garrity
2007 Remixing exhibits: Constructing participatory narratives with on-line tools to augment museum experiences. In Proceedings of the International Conference for Culture and Heritage Online.

Fitzgerald, William R
1979 The Hood site: Longhouse burials in an Historic Neutral village. Ontario Archaeology 32: 43–60.
1982 Lest the Beaver Run Loose: the Early 17Th Century Christianson Site and Trends in Historic Neutral Archaeology. Archaeological Survey of Canada Paper Mercury Series. 111: 364.
1984 An introduction to the Raymond Reid (HiHa-4) hamlet. Arch Notes 84: 3–24.

Forte, Maurizio
2011 Cyber-Archaeology : Notes on the simulation of the past. Virtual Archaeology Review 2(4): 7–18.
2014a 3D Archaeology : New Perspectives and Challenges — The Example of Çatalhöyük. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2(1): 1–29.
2014b Virtual Reality and Cyberarchaeology. In 3D Recording and Modelling in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Theory and best practices., edited by Fabio Remondino and Stefano Campana, pp. 3–6. ArcheoPress. British Archaeological Reports (S2598), Oxford.

Forte, Maurizio, Sofia Pescarin, Eva Pietroni, and Claudio Rufa
2006 Multiuser interaction in an archaeological landscape: The Flaminia project. BAR International Series 1568: 189.

Franchi, Jorge
1994 Virtual reality: An overview. TechTrends 39(1): 23–26.

Frankland, Tom, and Graeme Earl
2011 Authority and authenticity in future archaeological visualisation. Original Citation: 62.

Frischer, Bernard
2008 From digital illustration to digital heuristics. Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies as Tools for Discovery in Archaeology 1805.

Frischer, Bernard, Franco Niccolucci, Nick Ryan, and Juan Barceló
2000 From CVR to CVRO: The Past, Present, and Future of Cultural Virtual Reality. VAST Conference on Virtual reality, Archeology, and Cultural Heritage, Arezzo, Italy.(November): 1–12.

Frischer, Bernard, and Premio Tartessos
2011 Art and Science in the Age of Digital Reproduction : From Mimetic Representation to Interactive Virtual Reality. Virtual Archaeology Review 2(4): 19–32.

Fritz, John M, and Fred T Plog
1970a The Nature of Archaeological Explanation. American Antiquity 35(4): 405–412.

Gabellone, Francesco, Ivan Ferrari, and Davide Tanasi
2013 The reconstructive study of the Greek colony of Syracuse in a 3D stereoscopic movie for tourists and scholars. In Digital Heritage International Congress (DigitalHeritage), 2013, 2:pp. 693–700. IEEE.

Gerard-Little, Peregrine a., Michael B. Rogers, and Kurt a. Jordan
2012 Understanding the built environment at the Seneca Iroquois White Springs Site using large-scale, multi-instrument archaeogeophysical surveys. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(7): 2042–2048.

Gibbons, Garry
2010 Visualisation in archaeology: connecting research and practice. Virtual archaeology review 1(2): 13–17.

Giddings, Seth
2015 Simknowledge: What Museums Can Learn from Video Games. In The International Handbooks of Museum Studies: Museum Media, edited by Michelle Henning, pp. 145–164. First Edit. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Gill, Alyson A.
2009 Digitizing the Past: Charting New Courses in the Modeling of Virtual Landscapes. Visual Resources 25(4): 313–332.

Gillen, Julia
2012 Archaeology in a virtual world: Schome Park. In Discourse and Creativity, edited by R Jones. Pearson.

Gillings, Mark
2004 Using Computers in Archaeology: towards virtual pasts. Industrial Archaeology Review 26(2): 144–145.
2005 The real, the virtually real, and the hyperreal: The role of VR in archaeology. Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image: 223–239.

Goddard, P.
1999 Steve” Spaz” Williams & the Future of CGI. Take One: Film & Television in Canada, 8(24).

González-Tennant, Edward
2010 Virtual Archaeology and Digital Storytelling: A Report from Rosewood, Florida. The African Diaspora Archaeology Network 13(3 September): 1–27.

Gosden, Chris
2005 What do objects want? Journal of archaeological method and theory 12(3): 193–211.

Greengrass, Mark, and Lorna M. Hughes
2008 The Virtual Representation of the Past. The English Historical Review 1(512): 276.

Gregorio, Sergio
2009 Defining digital archaeology. In Archiving 2009: preservation strategies and imaging technologies for cultural heritage institutions and memory organizations: final program and proceedings, edited by William LeFurgy, pp. 92–95. IS&T’s Archiving Conference, 6. Society for Imaging Science & Technology.

Hall, Tony, Luigina Ciolfi, Liam Bannon, Mike Fraser, Steve Benford, John Bowers, Sten-olof Hellström, Shahram Izadi, Holger Schnädelbach, and Martin Flintham
2002 The Visitor as Virtual Archaeologist : Explorations in Mixed Reality Technology to Enhance Educational and Social Interaction in the Museum. Methods. VAST ’01: 91–97.

Harrower, Michael James, Kathleen M. O’Meara, Joseph J Basile, Clara J Hickman, Jennifer L Swerida, Ioana a Dumitru, Jacob L Bongers, Cameron J Bailey, and Edwin Fieldhouse
2014 If a picture is worth a thousand words…3D modelling of a Bronze Age tower in Oman. World Archaeology 46(1): 43–62.

Hart, John P, and Christina B Rieth
2002 Northeast Subsistence-Settlement Change : A . D . 700 – 1300. Bulletin 4. New York State Museum, Albany, New York.

Hart, John P.
2000 New Dates on Classic New York State Sites: Just How Old Are Those Longhouses? Northeast Anthropology.

Hart, John P., and Bernard K. Means
2002 Maize and Villages: A Summary and Critical Assessment of Current Northeast Early Late Prehistoric Evidence. Northeast Subsistence-Settlement Change: A.D. 700–1300 18: 345–358.

Hatch, James W, and Gregory H Bondar
2001 Late Woodland Palisaded Villages from Ontario to the Carolinas. In Archaeology of the Appalachian Highlands, edited by L P Sullivan and S C Prezzano, pp. 149–167.

Hayden, Brian
1977 Corporate Groups and the Late Ontario Longhouse. Ontario Archaeology(28): 3–16.

De Heras Ciechomski, Pablo, Branislav Ulicny, Rachel Cetre, and Daniel Thalmann
2004 A case study of a virtual audience in a reconstruction of an ancient Roman odeon in Aphrodisias. In VAST 2004: the 5th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Intelligent Cultural Heritage: incorporating 2nd Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage: Conscience-auditorium, Brussels and Ename Center, Oudenaarde, Belgium, edited by Yiorgos Chrysanthou, Kevin Cain, Neil Silberman, and Franco Niccolucci, pp. 9–17. EG workshop proceedings. Eurographics Association.

Hermon, Sorin.
2008 Reasoning In 3D: a Critical Appraisal of The Role of 3D Modelling and Virtual Reconstructions In Archaeology. In Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies As Tools For Discovery In Archaeology, pp. 36–45. Archaeopress Oxford.

Huggett, J.
2012a What lies beneath: lifting the lid on archaeological computing. In Thinking Beyond the Tool: Archaeological Computing and the Interpretative Process, edited by A. Chrysanthi, P. Murrietta, Flores, and C. Papadopoulos, pp. 204–214. Archeopress.
2012b Lost in information? Ways of knowing and modes of representation in e-archaeology. World Archaeology 44(4): 538–552.
2013 Disciplinary issues: challenging the research and practice of computer applications in archaeology. In Archaeology in the Digital Era, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp. 13–24.
2015 A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology. Open Archaeology 1(1): 86–95.

Huvila, Isto
2013 The Unbearable Complexity of Documenting Intellectual Processes: Paradata and Virtual Cultural Heritage Visualisation. Human IT 12(01).

Johnson, Matthew H.
2012 Phenomenological Approaches in Landscape Archaeology*. Annual Review of Anthropology.

Jones, Eric E
2010 An analysis of factors influencing sixteenth and seventeenth century Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) settlement locations. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29(1): 1–14.
2014 Society for American Archaeology Using Viewshed Analysis to Explore Settlement Choice : A Case Study of the Onondaga Iroquois using viewshed analysis to explore settlement choice : a case study of the Onondaga Iroquois 71(3): 523–538.

Hodder, I.
2008 Multivocality and social archaeology. In Evaluating multiple narratives. pp. 196-20. Springer New York.

Jones, Eric E., and James W. Wood
2012 Using event-history analysis to examine the causes of semi-sedentism among shifting cultivators: A case study of the Haudenosaunee, AD 1500-1700. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(8): 2593–2603.

Jones, Quentin
1997 Virtual-Communities, Virtual Settlements & Cyber-Archaeology: A Theoretical Outline. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 3(3): 0–0.

Jordan, Kurt a.
2013 Incorporation and Colonization: Postcolumbian Iroquois Satellite Communities and Processes of Indigenous Autonomy. American Anthropologist 115(1): 29–43.

Kapches, Mima
1990 The spatial dynamics of Ontario Iroquoian longhouses. American Antiquity: 49–67.
2007 The Iroquoian longhouse: architectural and cultural identity. Archaeology of the Iroquois: Selected Reading and Research Sources: 174–188.

Keener, Craig S.
1999 An Ethnohistorical Analysis of Iroquois Assault Tactics Used against Fortified Settlements of the Northeast in the Seventeenth Century. Ethnohistory 46(4): 777–807.

Kemp, Simon
2015 Digital, Social & Mobile Worldwide in 2015. We Are Social.

Klein, Herbert
2007 From Romanticism to Virtual Reality: Charles Babbage, William Gibson and the Construction of Cyberspace. Interdisciplinary Humanities 24(1): 36–51.

Komlos, John
2003 An anthropometric history of early-modern France. European Review of Economic History 7(02): 159–189.

Lennox, Paul a, P a Lennox, J E Molto, and J E Molto
1995 The Archaeology and Physical Anthropology of the EC Row Site: A Springwells Phase Settlement, Essex County, Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 60: 0–5.

Levy, Richard, and Peter Dawson
2009 Using finite element methods to analyze ancient architecture: an example from the North American Arctic. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(10): 2298–2307.

Limp, W F, A Payne, S Winters, A Barnes, and J Cothren
2010 Approaching 3D Digital Heritage Data from a Multi-technology, Lifecycle Perspective. In CAA’ 2010 Fusion of Cultures, edited by F Contreras and F J Melero, pp. 1–8. Granada, Spain.

MacDonald, Robert
1987 Notes on longhouse storage cubicles. Arch-Notes 87(3): 5–11.
1988 Ontario Iroquoian sweat lodges. Ontario Archaeology 48: 17–26.

MacNeish, Richard S
1952 A possible early site in the Thunder Bay district, Ontario. Edmond Cloutier, Queen’s Printer and Controller of Stationery.

Martinez, Philippe
2001 Digital realities and archaeology. In Proceedings of the 2001 conference on Virtual reality, archeology, and cultural heritage – VAST ’01, pp. 9. ACM Press.

Merriman, Nick
2004 Public archaeology. North. Routledge.

Miller, Paul, and Julian Richards
1995 The good, the bad, and the downright misleading: archaeological adoption of computer visualisation. BAR INTERNATIONAL SERIES 600: 19.

Morgan, Colleen L.
2009 (Re)Building Çatalhöyük: Changing Virtual Reality in Archaeology. Archaeologies 5(3): 468–487.

Morgan, Lewis Henry
1881 Houses and House-life of the American Aborigines. Volume IV. Vol. 4. US Government Printing Office, Washington.

Moser, Stephanie, and Sam Smiles
2008 Introduction: The Image in Question. In Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image, pp. 1–12. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK.

Mullins, P. R
2001 Agency in archaeology. American Antiquity. Vol. 66.

Niccolucci, F.
2007 Virtual museums and archaeology: an international perspective. Archeologia e Calcolatori Supplement: 15–30.

Nicholas, George P., and Kelly P. Bannister
2004 Copyrighting the Past? Emerging Intellectual Property Rights Issues in Archaeology. Current Anthropology.

Noble, William C
1975 Corn and the development of village life in southern Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 25: 37–46.

Norcliffe, G B, and C E Heidenreich
1974 The preferred orientation of Iroquoian longhouses in Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 23(3): 3–30.

O’Gorman, Jodie A
2010 Exploring the Longhouse and Community in Tribal Society. American Antiquity 75(3): 571–597.

Paardekooper, Roeland
2010 Experimental archaeology. In Encyclopedia of Archaeology, pp. 1345–1358. Elsevier Inc.

Palombini, Augusto, and Sofia Pescarin
2011 Virtual archaeology and museums, an Italian perspective. Virtual archaeology review 2(4): 151–154.

Papadopoulos, Constantinos, and Graeme Earl
2012 Formal three-dimensional computational analyses of archaeological spaces. In Spatial analysis and social spaces, pp. 135–166. DE GRUYTER, Berlin, Boston.

Papaioannou, Georgios, Evaggelia Aggeliki Karabassi, and Theoharis Theoharis
2001 Virtual Archaeologist: Assembling the past. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 21(2): 53–59.

Patay-Horváth, András
2013 The virtual 3D reconstruction of the east pediment of the temple of Zeus at Olympia an old puzzle of classical archaeology in the light of recent technologies. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 1(1): 12–22.

Pauketat, Timothy R., and Susan M. Alt
2005 Agency in a postmold? Physicality and the archaeology of culture-making. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 12(3): 213–237.

Perry, Sara
2015 Crafting knowledge with (digital) visual media in archaeology. In Material Evidence. Learning from archaeological practice., edited by R. Chapman and A. Wylie, pp. 189–210. Routledge, New York and London.

Pletinckx, Daniel, and Premio Tartessos
2011 Virtual Archaeology as an Integrated Preservation Method. Virtual Archaeology Review 2: 33–37.

Pringle, M J, and M R Moulding
1997 Applications for virtual reality, and associated information technology, in the illustration of archaeological material. Graphic archaeology: 22–34.

Pujol Tost, L
2004 Archaeology, Museums and Virtual Reality. DigitHUM Revista Digital dHumanitats(6).

Pujol Tost, Laia
2008 Does virtual archaeology exist? In Layers of perception: proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Berlin, Germany, April 2-6, 2007, edited by Axel Posluschny, Karsten Lambers, and Irmela Herzog, pp. 101–107. Kolloquien zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Bd. 10. Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH.

Punzalan, Ricardo L
2014 Understanding virtual reunification. The Library 84(3).

Reilly, P.
1989 Data visualization in archaeology. IBM Systems Journal 28(4): 569–579.
1991 Towards a Virtual Archaeology. CAA90. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 1990: 132–139.
2015 Putting the materials back into Virtual Archaeology. St. Petersburg.

Richards-Rissetto, Heather, Fabio Remondino, Giorgio Agugiaro, Jennifer Von Schwerin, Jim Robertsson, and Gabrio Girardi
2012 Kinect and 3D GIS in archaeology. In Proceedings of the 2012 18th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2012: Virtual Systems in the Information Society, pp. 331–337.

Richardson, Lorna
2013 A Digital Public Archaeology? Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 23(1): 1–12.

Robb, John
2010 Beyond agency. World archaeology 42(4): 493–520.

Rua, Helena, and Pedro Alvito
2010 Reliving the Past: 3D Models and Virtual Reality as Supporting Tools for Archaeology and the Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage: The case study of the Roman Villa of Freiria. In Virtual Reality, pp. 1–10.

Ryan, Nick
2001 Documenting and validating Virtual Archaeology. Archeologia e Calcolatori 12: 245–273.

Salmond, Amiria
2012 Digital subjects, cultural objects: Special issue introduction. Journal of Material Culture 17(3): 211–228.

Schrecker, Anne
1976 Spatial Concepts in Primitive Building: Toward A Phenomenology of Architectural Form. University of Toronto.

Slator, B.M., J.T. Clark, J., III Landrum, A. Bergstrom, J. Hawley, E. Johnston, and S. Fisher
2001 Teaching with immersive virtual archaeology. Proceedings Seventh International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia.

Styliani, Sylaiou, Liarokapis Fotis, Kotsakis Kostas, and Patias Petros
2009 Virtual museums, a survey and some issues for consideration. Journal of Cultural Heritage.

Sutherland, Ivan E.
1965 The Ultimate Display. In Proceedings of IFIP Congress 1965, pp. 506–508.

Thomas, Julian
1996 Time, culture, and identity : an interpretative archaeology. Material cultures. Routledge.

Watts, Christopher M.
2009 Coming to our Senses: Toward a Unified Perception of the Iroquoian Longhouse. In Archaeology and the Politics of Vision in a Post-Modern Context, edited by J. Thomas and V. Jorge, pp. 209–224. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Wilk, R., and W. L. Rathje
1982 Household Archaeology. American Behavioral Scientist.

Williams-Shuker, Kimberly, and Kathleen M S Allen
1998 Longhouse Remains at the Carman Site: Paper Presented at the Cayuga Museum Northeast Archaeological Symposium, October 23-24, 1998.

Williamson, Ronald F.
2004 Replication or Interpretation of the Iroquoian Longhouse. In The Reconstructed Past: Reconstrucions in the Public Interpretation of Archaeology and History, edited by John H. Jameson, Jr., pp. 147–166. Altamira Press, New York.
2007 The Taking and Displaying of Human Body Parts as Trophies by Amerindians. Ed. Richard J. Chacon and David H. Dye. The taking and displaying of human body parts as trophies by Amerindians. Interdisciplinary contributions to archaeology. Springer US, Boston, MA.
2009 Longhouse Heating Experiment Ska-Nah-Doht Village, Longwoods Conservation Authority (1979). Toronto.

Williamson, Ronald F, and Robert I MacDonald
2015 Echoes of the Iroquois Wars: Contested Heritage and Identity in the Ancestral Homeland of the Huron-Wendat. In Identity and Heritage, edited by Peter F. Biehl, Douglas C. Comer, Christopher Prescott, and Hilary A Soderland, pp. 97–106. SpringerBriefs in Archaeology. Springer International Publishing, New York.

Williamson, Ronald F., David G Smith, Robert J Pearce, and Rodolphe J. Fecteau
1979 The Longhouse Experiment : An Experience In Iroquoian Archaeology. Toronto.

Wintemberg, William J
1900 Indian village sites in the counties of Oxford and Waterloo. Annual Archaeological Report of the Ontario Provincial Museum appended to the Report of the Minister of Education: 37–40.

Wintemberg, William John
1939 Lawson Prehistoric Village Site, Middlesex County, Ontario. Vol. 94. JO Patenaude, printer.
1972 Roebuck Prehistoric Village Site, Grenville County, Ontario.

Woodwark, J.
1991 Reconstructing history with computer graphics. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 1:18-20.

Zimbra, D., A. Abbasi, and H. Chen
2010 A Cyber-archaeology Approach to Social Movement Research: Framework and Case Study. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 16(1): 48–70.

Zubrow, E.
2006 Digital Archaeology. Digital Archaeology. Bridging method and theory, London, pp. 10-31.

Zuk, T, S Carpendale, and W D Glanzman
2005 Visualizing temporal uncertainty in 3D virtual reconstructions. In VAST 2005: the 6th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Intelligent Cultural Heritage, incorporating 3rd Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage: ISTI-CNR Pisa, Italy, November 8-11, 2005, pp. 99–106. Eurographics Association.

Extracting Useful Data from Twitter for Methodological Evaluation – Part II

university_of_leicester_richard_III

11.35: The hashtag RichardIII is now trending on Twitter. This was reported by Telegraph Reporters on Sept 12, 2012 during a minute by minute timeline of the announcement that the University of Leicester Archaeology Team had discovered bones believed to be Richard III buried under a Council parking lot.  Suffice to say, this was seminal event in archaeology, as it was the first time that embedded reporters reported live and in realtime, an archaeological event.  Twitter brought that news to the world.

In the second part of our investigation in extracting useful data from Twitter for methodological evaluation, I’m going to use Topsy again to try and provide a view of digital media, archaeology and public engagement.  Does an event such as this, also help to expose the public to archaeology and archaeologists or are these terms co-opted byproducts of a pop culture event?

To recap, two events occurred surrounding the discovery of Richard III.  The first happend on September 12, 2012 with the University of Leicester announcing that they had discoverer what they believe might be the bones of Richard III, with almost 1565 unique Tweets under the hashtag #richardIII.  The second event was the official news on February 4, 2013 that the archaeological team had confirmed the bones to be Richard III.  On that day, 66,696 Tweets where made world wide.

A couple of things need to be considered with this query.  In Twitter, when users want to “home in” on a subject matter of interest, they tend to use a hashtag such as #richardiii.  Prior to the original announcement of Richard III bones being discovered, the hashtag #richardiii was used by a various assortment of users who primarily discussed the works of Shakespeare and specifically the play The Tragedy of Richard the Third.  In the course of the archaeological discovery, this hashtag was hijacked by people wanting to connect or Tweet about the discovery of the bones and the subsequent news related to that discovery.  More importantly however, that hashtag was not the only way people Tweeted about Richard III.

Keywords are important when mining Twitter data.  Using additional related terms such as “Richard III”, “King Richard III” and “King Richard” a fuller picture begins to emerge of the extent of Twitter activity surrounding the archaeological event.  By combining total Twitter counts of just these four terms, total number of Tweets jumps to 430,079 over a 24hr period.

OvR3ActivityFeb4-5

Essentially we are looking at the gross number of actual Tweets that contained the search terms above over a 24 hour period.  However, the story doesn’t stop there.  Inferences can be made on how many Twitter users were actually exposed to the Richard III terms above on Feb 4, 2013, buy taking the gross number of followers of each Twitter user who posted any message with “#richardIII”, “Richard III”, “King Richard III” and “King Richard”.  Using this methodology employed by Topsy, the system estimates that 1,280,087,045 Twitter users were exposed to a Tweet of some sort on Feb 4 around this archaeological event.

EstExpoR3Feb4-5

Topsy’s describes its methodology this way; Topsy calculates exposure by summing the follower counts of all the authors of tweets that match the keywords being queried. This calculation returns overall gross exposure (vs. unduplicated net exposure) so multiple tweets from the same author or authors with common followers may result in audience duplication.  To better understand the margin of error, Topsy would have to predict and/or calculate how many times the same Tweet was distributed by the same author.  As with using the search terms “#richardIII”, “Richard III”, “King Richard III” and “King Richard”, there is no clear indication on how much duplication within the gross calculation has been made.

Finally, one of the interesting elements from an anthropological perspective of this type of real-time, machine language data mining, is the ability to estimate gross number of Tweets from country of origin and the positive, neutral or negative value of the qualitative or quantisized Tweet.  Let’s first look at the geographic makeup of Tweets over a 24hr period on Feb 4, 2013.

OvGeoActiR3Feb4-5

Twitter can “geo-tag” a Tweet and generally there is a 90% confidence that all Tweets from a certain country is correct.  Topsy states;  The Geographic view shows country-level metrics at a high confidence and coverage rates. The confidence rate will be 90%, meaning that 90% of tweets that are geo-tagged by country are correct based on our validation methods. The targeted coverage will be 90%, meaning that 90% of tweets that come from Twitter will be geo-tagged at the country level at the 90% confidence rate.  So when using this methodology, researchers must also be cognizant that “volume” is qualitative in nature and not quantitative.

Going beyond the margins of error however, it is interesting to see that the largest amount of Tweets were generated (328,340) from the United States.  Next was the actual country of origin of the archaeological event, with 49,439 UK Tweets.  Surprisingly, Indonesia had the third largest amount of original Tweets on the subject.  Next was France and then Canada.  The Canadian ranking of 5th was surprising, solely for the fact that the actual identification of Richard III’s remains would not have been possible without the DNA sample from Canadian Michael Ibsen, who is a 17th great-grand-nephew of Richard’s older sister — Anne of York.

If you compare the top 5 Tweets listed beside the geographic total, 4 out of the 5 original Tweets are from the UK and one is from the USA.  Unfortunately, also out of the top 5 Tweets, 3 are jokes about Richard III’s situation.  Which brings us to the skewing factor.  If one dives down into the actual quantitative gross counts, to examine the qualitative nature of the actual Tweet, a substantial amount of Tweets turn out to be original or retold jokes!  This was not lost on some as this Feb 4th post almost 16hrs from the original UK announcement in Maclean’s Magazine points out Richard III’s skeleton found; Twitter gets buried in jokes. Now Topsy nor do any Twittter data mining tool set have a “no joke” filter, but there are some interesting observations that can be made to discern how to filter the actual jokes from the data set.

OvActSentR3Feb4-5

As discussed in Part I of last weeks blog, Topsy and other data mining applications use Sentiment Analysis or natural language processing (NLP) to determine a quantitized value of the actual Tweet.  Topsy uses a NLP methodology that ranks words with a value from 0 to 100.  As Joe Masciocco, Social Analytics Consultant over at Topsy points out; in layman’s terms, we have language coding specialists on staff.  We score every word that comes through within each tweet on a scale from 0-100 (very negative – very positive) we then take a look at how the words interact and score the tweet on a whole from 0-100.  This all happens in real time for all tweets.  Hence Topsy quantitizes the content of the Tweet to determine it’s overall Sentiment (Driscoll et al, 2007).

Again there is no “joke” filter in NL processing, however I did discover something interesting when reviewing the graph above the quantitative data displayed by Topsy.  By clicking on the end points of each graphed line, the user can get a listing of the top 5 positive Tweets.  When we go through all four search terms, almost exclusively in this small sample set does the search term #RichardIII reveal where the “jokesters” live!  It seems #RichardIII by the end of Feb 4th has been co-opted yet again, but this time by people looking to plant or supplant a good joke!

Unfortunately like any interesting data, we have only scratched the surface.  In all the jumble of understanding how one archaeological event could potentially expose over 1.2 Billion Twitter followers in a single day to archaeology, we also need to examine how archaeology and archaeologists were effected.  In Part III, I’ll compare our Richard III event alongside mix methods analysis of archaeology and archaeologists to see if there is a correlation between pop event culture and public engagement archaeology.  I leave you with an article from the Washington Post I found in a Tweet from an archaeologist the day after the big event; On social media, archaeologists roll their eyes at Richard III skeleton discovery.

Cheers,

Michael

References:

Driscoll, D.L., Appiah-Yeboah, A., Salib, P. and Rupert, D.J., 2007. Merging Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Mixed Methods Research: How To and Why Not. Ecological and Environmental Anthropology 3(1): 19-28.

Extracting Useful Data from Twitter for Methodological Evaluation – Part I

A facial reconstruction of King Richard III, based on an analysis of his recently identified remains and artist portrayals over the years, was unveiled by an eponymous historical society on Tuesday. (Rex Features / AP Images) @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

There has been a lot of talk about “Digital Archaeology” being “Public Archaeology” recently.  As part of my Methods class this semester, I wanted to put that assumption to the test and decided to analyse Twitter feeds on specific subjects against possible uptakes on other subjects.  In the last 365 days, the major archaeological event to occur has been the discovery and more importantly, confirmation of Richard III’s bones buried under a Council parking lot in Leicester.  The story is ripe for public engagement, especially since the Bard skewered Richard III in Tudor times to such an extent that he’s readily seen as a dastardly villain today!

Extracting meaningful data from any source is always a challenge.  With Twitter, it’s as David L. Driscoll et al coined as mixed methods research (2007), both qualitative and quantitative material extracted sometimes in meaningful chunks.  Several tools exist to do this type of analysis, but I found Topsy.com to be a great tool for first time Twitter data extractors like myself.  It’s as easy as typing in a Twitter hashtag or a subject heading and the system generates a report on the quantity and quality of Twitter results for that particular subject.

Richardiii_365day_Twitter_count

Doing a scan today on March 7 2013, over the last 365 days, we find that the hashtag, #richardiii has had 96,516 Tweets (as seen above in the chart generated in Topsy).  In that time, as displayed in the graph, there are two major events which help to accelerate and promote Twitter engagement around the topic of Richard III.

RichardIII 365 Twitter Analysis

They roughly occur at the Sept 12, 2012 mark when archaeologists confirm they have discovered what they think are Richard III’s bones and on Feb 4, 2013 when the University of Leicester confirms that DNA testing and physical analysis of the bones by qualitative means through oral histories and written accounts confirm that Richard III has been discovered.

Digging further down, on the Sept 12th, there were 1565 #richardiii Tweets.  Topsy can return data on the top Tweets and the content for that day which reveals the top # of Tweets coming from a journalist from BBC History Magazine who is supposedly embedded with the archaeologists at the moment of discovery.  The second top set of Tweets comes from Medievalists.net who is tweeting news from the Richard III Society about the success of finding Richard III.

Feb4 TopTweetsIn comparison on Feb 4th, when Richard III’s bones where confirmed, there where 66,696 Tweets.  The top tweet with over 1000 tweets and re-tweets was a Twitter handle by the name of @queen_uk Elizabeth Windsor, who’s message was; Don’t even think about putting one under a car park in Slough, which is a tounge-in-cheek reference to the industrial city just North of Windsor.  The second highest was from BBC Breaking News, reporting that the Mayor of Leicester had announced that Richard III was going to be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral (which, as we will see in next weeks blog has some interesting elements of it’s own).  The last three top tweets where from BBC and The Guardian reporting on official archaeological and scientific information.

Now, you’ll notice that the Top Tweets seem to be skewed in the Topsy screen shot above.  This is because Elizabeth Windsor, with 1000K tweets and retweets, actually had the fastest uptake amongst other twitter users.  BBC Breaking News, with over 4K tweets and retweets is the largest volume, yet the news spread slower than the joke.

Topsy also has the ability to breakdown the tweets into quantitative data.  However, as Driscoll et al (2007) discussed, Topsy can also quantitize, albeit with mixed results, the qualitative nature of the tweet into twitter industry accepted terms of Positive, Neutral and Negative Sentiments.  That is, the emotional value of the Tweet as written by the Tweeter through Sentiment Analysis or natural language processing (NLP).

Part II of our exploration into mixed methods research using Twitter analysis next week, I will explore some of the issues around the data generation in Twitter and specifically Topsy as well as see if my assumptions are correct from a Twitter perspective, that when an archaeological event like the discovery of Richard III happens, people become more publicly engaged in archaeology overall.

Cheers,

Michael

References:

Driscoll, D.L., Appiah-Yeboah, A., Salib, P. and Rupert, D.J., 2007. Merging Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Mixed Methods Research: How To and Why Not. Ecological and Environmental Anthropology 3(1): 19-28.

TV Producing and Thesis Writing!

Last week was spring break at Western, which gave me some time to get caught up with hunting down current literature for my thesis.  It also gave me a great break from driving between Toronto and London, generally in the weekly Friday snowstorms!  I had however, the opportunity to stop in at Sheridan College to give my yearly lecture on Producing and Business in Animation to the latest cohort of 3D animation students.

I’ve enjoyed giving this lecture for about 10 years now.  As I had the spreadsheets and budgets projected on stage, it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe I could use my 17 years of production management experience in writing my thesis?  After all, to be a Producer you must have highly skilled management, organizational and analytical skills.  And, no matter how many times my wife says only women can multitask successfully,  I think I’ve mastered that one as well.

Students are always amazed when I recount that as an animation expert, my single most used software application now is MS Excel!  Practically every animated project must start by translating the creative and artistic style into schedules and ultimately budgets.  The process becomes repetitive and when one becomes good at it, all a client has to do is mention how many minutes a series is or long a film might be and generally the process can calculate the cost down to the last penny.  Although I miss the creative part, there is a certain artistic mastery in developing a budget and schedule.

I’ve been using an on-line tool called Ref Works, which has been extremely useful in automating the referencing process.  For students and teachers, it’s a free service provided by your university library.  Occasionally it’s a little buggy and I’ve had to develop strategies to get around some deficiencies but overall it’s been an excellent tool.  One particular nifty tool is the ability to link the reference within Ref Works with the actual PDF whether on-line or uploaded as a file.  This little feature has helped to “relocate” reference material quickly when it has been improperly filed on your hard drive.

However, I’ve been thinking about “how” I track those references within my thesis and more importantly “where” to insert those references when needed.  That got me thinking about Excel and Producing.  Essentially my thesis, or any thesis for that matter, consists of parts.  Simplistically it could be an opening, middle and end or conclusion.  However in archaeology we’re about the narrative.  So a good thesis should tell a story, whether it’s about scientific data or a qualitative experience, it’s still a story in which the reader must be engaged.

Excel is great for organizing data, so why not have it organize reference material as well?  The vertical columns can be the overall paper split into thematic sections.  The horizontal columns are subsections in which very specific reference points are made.  Each cell is a specific reference which in pure Excel functionality, can then be referenced and tracked in other cells throughout the entire set of thematic sections.  Visually, it can allow the writer to see weak points in their referencing by the lack of references within a section or if a particular reference is used too much.

Visualizing my references made me then think about all of the infographics out there and how those connections are made between references within a theses.  I found this really neat infographic which provides a good visualization of how data is connected in the writing process.  I think it would be a useful tool to visualize how references within my thesis are interconnected as well!

Copyright Playtime-Arts.com

So I started this blog thinking about how to manage data more effectively using my Animation Producing skills.  Now that I’ve reflected on how to organize my reference data, I’m also keen on how that data is interconnected and more importantly, how I personally make those connections between references.  A visual roadmap if you will to guide the writing process?

As an Animation Producer I’ve been able to incorporate my two favourite things; Excel and Visualization!  Now if I could only hand in an animated thesis, my job would be done!

Cheers,

Michael

 

The Methodology before Theory? The search for my Research Question!

This post is going to start with a story.  In 1993, as a newbie field archaeologist, I had as most do, a horrible time differentiating between soil or root stains and post holes.  I can’t tell you how many post holes I mangled, much to the dissatisfaction of my field supervisor.

Sweating every soil stain, I began to wonder if there was a way to visualize in 3D, what we assumed to be post holes to determine if they actually belonged to the archaeological landscape.  A sort of, post hole detection methodology.  More than that, it would give stakeholders an ability to visualize an actual structure as opposed to trying to explain to the client that these stains were important!

It was that frustration which drove me to understanding how to create 3D objects and eventually into a long career in the animation and VFX industry.  Part of that journey included Sheridan College, which I was extremely lucky to attend in the early 90’s at the beginning of the second wave of artistic talent and immense technology.

However, it was my very first job in the industry which has now framed my research methodology to build interactive, real-time 3D Longhouses.  Kim Davidson, an industry legend and founder of Toronto based Side Effects Software, an animation production software company, produced and continues to build upon a procedural animation tool set called Houdini.

In Houdini, any function, from model building to texture map making to compositing or animating can be done procedurally.  What this actually means is that every function has a node or parameter that is never locked and as such, can be reworked at any point in the creation of a model, animation or VFX shot.  All changes “ripple” down the nodal network allowing the user ultimate flexibility without having to recreate or trace their steps again.

Using this methodology, I can theoretically build a Longhouse App with total flexibility allowing for regional, cultural, societal, historical variables in Longhouse construction to be “mashed up”.  This technique can then free stakeholders of all types; archaeologists, descendent groups, researchers and the public to build and more importantly experiment with how Longhouses may have looked and uniquely how one can then interactively engage within that space, always refining based on the individuals own unique perspective.

Procedural Arc Research Tool

This theoretical procedural network simplistically outlines how we can start with a basic field survey of post holes and “build” or more precisely “rebuild” one of multiple variations of Longhouses based on any infinite amount of parameters.

Prototypes for visualizing and manipulating 3D Longhouses constructed from site maps have already proven successful and the next stage will be deployment against a set of research questions.

One such question comes from the Droulers site on the boarder of Quebec and Ontario.  Claude Chapdelaine from the University of Montreal has been researching the site for many years.  The archaeological landscape has yielded some interesting questions regarding Longhouse construction, in particular, how massive structures could be built in and on totally rocky/stoney terrain.

Essentially, there are no soil stains to determine “what” the Longhouses might have looked like.  There are however hearths that have been discovered.  So, is it possible to 3D visualize the dimensions of the Longhouses through hearth positioning only?  The archaeological landscape will quite literally guide and frame my research.

It’s important to note that I’m not simply attempting to reconstruct Longhouses in 3D.  I’m attempting to provide the tools necessary to allow non-archaeologists and archaeologists alike to play with the historical and current data in visual 3D form.  I also hope this technique can be done in both real-time and in stereoscopic 3D, by providing a virtual interface for users to not only build in 3D space but be immersed within it.

As always, any thoughts, opinions, leads to other research or examples of other sites are greatly appreciated!

 

Starting My Research – 3D Visualization and Procedural Longhouses

After 2 years of coursework, I’m now getting down to the research portion of my PhD.  It’s been quite a journey since I first started my undergraduate in Archaeology and Visual Arts at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in 1989, but the ride has been great and I’ve learned a bunch along the way.  For the next couple of years, my PhD research is a culmination of over 20 years of commercial work, academic studies and personal interest in the effort to bring 3D visualization to the forefront of Archaeological theory and methodology.Saau_trowel

It’s full circle for me now.  24 years ago I was really excited about the cool “Computer Animation” being used in archaeology, primarily in the UK.  Back then, desktop computers were still rare and expensive with the software being even more expensive!  It was all vector based and/or the start of GPS/GIS visualization.  When I saw what they were doing for Jurassic Park in terms of lighting and rendering in 1993, I was hooked and immediately saw a lot of relevance in 3D visualization of archaeological sites.  It was a fateful sunny and hot afternoon at AIGU “Oversite” in North York, Toronto, Ontario,  while doing fieldwork that a colleague suggested I go to Sheridan College, to learn to use the computer animation software.  That started an 18 year journey within the animation business, which also spurred on my interest in 3D visualization within science.

To answer your questions on who I might be, feel free to jump over to my film & tv corporate website; theskonkworks.com, sign up to follow me on Twitter, check out my industry profile and animation projects at CASO or watch my homage to Archaeology and Entertainment with a project our animation team did in 2003-2004 called “Johnny Thunder” (OMG – 93, 835 views!).  Of course don’t forget to check out what Namir Ahmed and I’ve been cooking up at Sustainable Archaeology!

So this is the beginning of a new journey to contribute to the continued adoption of 3D visualization in archaeological research, public engagement and long term preservation.

My PhD will focus on creating a virtual tool-set specifically designed to allow stakeholders (public, private, academic and native) to build in real-time within 3D space, interactive pre and post contact Longhouses of Southwestern Ontario using a procedural 3D model library.  It is my hope this new methodology will help to enlighten our understanding of longhouse construction, community organization and external cultural influences with an eye towards our current assumptions of longhouse communities within the archaeological record.

As this will be an on-going process of refinement, I’m hoping that blogging will help generate new directions of research, theories and understandings of a unique and somewhat assumed area of study.

Welcome along and I hope you enjoy the ride!

Cheers,

Michael