Call for Short Paper (Round Table)

(Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Italy)

Keywords: 3D models, photogrammetry, virtual reality, public archaeology, communication strategy

Call: This Round Table will be an opportunity to take stock of the researches and experiences put in place by archaeological museums to recreate the context from which works of art come from.  Coming from excavations often conducted in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries, most of the archaeological finds exhibited in museums have great difficulty relating to an increasingly demanding public, more and more expecting the use of virtual and augmented reality, as a preferred medium to meet the past. This RT wants to compare a series of (digital) experiences by which museums try to bring the public of non-professionals closer to the knowledge of the past but above all to the recognition of the contexts of origin.
Usually the amount of scientific data acquired by researchers is of considerable importance: now we need to start a debate on how to use these data proficiently, in order to reconstruct the story of the finds and make it available for collective knowledge. It is now a consolidated practice that after analytical and archaeological studies, systematic photogrammetric campaigns transform objects into digital resources: 3D models obtained offer an unmissable opportunity to rewrite events and collecting history. It is not only focusing in terms of material and scholarly knowledge of the object in question, but also the story from the moment of discovery to the display in museum rooms, chronology that also includes all the restoration phases to which the same objects have been subjected.  What happens to items on display?  If museums work hardly with the goals of digitally documenting, restoring, and recontextualizing archaeological finds, are they also able to evaluate how much their commitment reaches the various audiences?
Digital is a challenge museums can’t miss, not only to find new physical-technical indicators but even merely profitable and quantitative: 3D modelling, digital restoring and recontextualization can give museums a chance to open the Past to whoever in need, keeping firm standards of being both a physical place but also “systems of relationships”, subjects to constant changes in space and time: their function cannot therefore lie “in the arithmetic of profit”, but rather in its continuous function as the engine of memory and training. This RT will therefore examine some experiments trying to evaluate, given in hand, actual benefits in terms of intellectual understanding, attendance of the place where they reside or where virtual models are allocated, and finally, socio-economic implications that this approach entails.

I suggest presentations of 10 minutes plus 10 of Q&A

Submission (open April 15, 2020)
Mind the guidelines