Davide TANASI | Stephan HASSAM
(University of South Florida, Tampa, USA)

Keywords: digital heritage, accessibility, touch interaction

Archaeological museums are often perceived as repositories of relics, entrusted to preserve ancient material culture in perpetuity but at the same time committed to making it accessible. The fear of deterioration often denies access or imposes limits on the interactions between visitors and artefacts.
This contribution will present the results of three projects about archaeological heritage which has limited access and is not properly shared and communicated with the public: The Karam Collection of the University of South Florida, the Maltese prehistoric collection at the Museum of Siracusa (Sicily) and the Kouros of Leontinoi, scattered between two Sicilian museums. 164 objects were 3D scanned and the digital models were shared with the public using Sketchfab and the augmented reality app Augment. It is clear that digital renderings cannot replace real objects. Though they lack an existence in the real world, they make up for it by being available for experimentation and manipulation. In order to overcome the obvious limitations on tactile interaction with digital media, an alternative system was used, employing realistic 3D printed copies and haptic devices to afford the participation of members of the public with visual impairments.

Relevance for the conference: The contribution deals with digital applications on unpublished archaeological cases study
Relevance for the session: The cases study subject of the contribution represents the archaeological past of Sicily and Malta
Innovation: The innovation relies in the use of 3D printing and haptic technology for community engagement

  • Moritz Neumuller, Andreas Reichinger, Florian Rist, and Christian Kern, 3D Printing for Cultural Heritage: Preservation, Accessibility, Research and Education, in M. Ioannides, E. Quak, 3DResearch Challenges in Cultural Heritage, Springer 2014; pp. 119-134
  • R. Scopigno, P. Cignoni, N. Pietroni, M. Callieri and M. Dellepiane, Digital Fabrication Technologies for Cultural Heritage (STAR), in EUROGRAPHICS Workshops on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (2014) R. Klein and P. Santos (Editors), pp. 1-8