Virtualizing the uncertainty of digital archaeological reconstructions applications on the Egyptian labyrinth of Hawara

Mekheimar, F., 2023. Virtualizing the uncertainty of digital archaeological reconstructions applications on the Egyptian labyrinth of Hawara. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The virtual reconstruction of archaeological sites has been a debatable field of research for decades. Archaeology theorists have questioned whether digitization is a reliable tool for visualizing history and presenting it to the public, and the uncertainty associated with digital reconstructions requires further investigation. The aim of this research is to investigate the viability of using virtual reality to represent the uncertainty of digital archaeological reconstructions to a non-specialist audience by developing and testing a virtual reality experience based on a real archaeological site. Drawing on existing literature on virtual reality as a technology, its applications in the reconstruction of archaeological sites, and an examination of the uncertainty of digital reconstructions of archaeological sites, it develops a theoretical framework for representing the uncertainty of archaeological reconstruction using virtual reality models. The framework is then developed and validated through interviews with experts in the field. The applied outcomes of the study are divided into three parts. In the first, the interviews with the experts were analyzed using Nvivo software in order to understand how they perceive and interpret archaeological data and evidence during the reconstruction process. The second outcome was the creation of a virtual reality experience based on historic reconstructions of the ancient Hawara Pyramid and Labyrinth site at Fayoum, Egypt. The virtual reality experience presents three versions of the site, each based on an historic reconstruction by a different ancient historian, namely Kircher, Lucas, and Canina. The aim in presenting these different interpretations together was to test whether the experience could be used to visualize the uncertainty which arises due to conflicting evidence. The third outcome involved testing the experience with members of the general public in order to gather users’ feedback regarding the use of virtual reality in the field of archaeology and heritage and its effectiveness in conveying the uncertainty within digital archaeological reconstructions. Data was gathered via a survey of users at different locations in Cairo, Egypt. The main thesis contribution to knowledge is generating a novel approach for representing the uncertainty of digital archaeological reconstructions using a virtual reality experience.The methodology and prototype used can be applied on other archaeological sites leading to a theoretical and practical advancement in this field of research.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Mekheimar, F.
Medjdoub, B.Thesis
Chalal, M.Thesis
Date: November 2023
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 15 Apr 2024 09:25
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 09:25

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