LEarning of Archaeology through Presence
Start date: May 1, 2014,
End date: Jul 14, 2016
Virtual Archaeology (VA) is a well established area at the intersection of Cultural Heritage (CH) and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The main goal of VA is currently to build 3D reconstructions of objects and sites for research and dissemination. However, thanks to the interactive character of Virtual Reality (VR), it offers many other benefits, such as the understanding of the culture those artefacts and sites belong to. This partially overlaps with the concept of Cultural Presence (CP), a notion still under development in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) field.The LEAP Project (LEarning of Archaeology through Presence) aims at developing this crossroad area by researching, implementing and evaluating an innovative conceptual and technological framework, based on a re-definition of the HCI concept of CP, which will enhance the understanding of past societies by experts and audiences through the experiencing of immersive, populated, interactive reconstructions of archaeological sites.Based at the Department of Humanities and the SPECS Lab of the Pompeu Fabra University, LEAP will firstly build a new theoretical and methodological framework. Secondly, it will design and implement different virtual reconstructions of the Bronze Age site of Cerro de la Encina (Granada, Spain). Finally, it will design a quantitative and qualitative evaluation methodology specific for CP, and it will evaluate the cognitive, emotional and learning impact of the virtual reconstruction on a selected group of end-users.LEAP will establish trans-disciplinary synergies; it will contribute to advance scientific knowledge both in VA and Presence; it will enhance transfer of knowledge between experts and audiences; and it will foster collaboration between university departments. Thus, by allowing users to leap into the past, the project will constitute also a leap for the scientific field of VA.
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