Virtual Archaeology Review <p style="text-align: justify;">The <strong><em>Virtual Archaeology Review</em> (VAR)</strong> is an international web-based, open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Its focus is a mix of arts and engineering that research on the new field of virtual archaeology. The journal is broadly interdisciplinary, publishing works by scholars in the fields of conservation, documentation, 3D surveying, computer science, dissemination, gaming and other similar disciplines related to heritage and archaeology.</p> Universitat Politècnica de València en-US Virtual Archaeology Review 1989-9947 <p><a href="" rel="license"><img src="" alt="Creative Commons License" /></a></p> <p>This journal is licensed under a <a href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License</a>.</p> Geometrical study of Middle Kingdom funerary complexes in Qubbet el-Hawa (Aswan, Egypt) based on 3D models <p>This study describes the methodology developed and the main results obtained when analysing the geometrical behavior of three adjacent burial structures located in southern Egypt. The rock-cut tombs are composed of complex geometries such as halls, corridors, chambers and vertical shafts. Among other determining aspects, this complexity greatly conditioned the data acquisition and processing work. In this context, the main objective of this study was to develop a new methodology for obtaining geomatic products that support a complete geometrical analysis of the tombs. The researchers have used photogrammetric and laser scanning surveys to obtain accurate 3D models on a common reference system. The procedure used included obtaining several secondary products, such as several geometries (planes and cylinders) fitted from point clouds or plans and sections obtained from the 3D models. The geometric analysis has included several aspects: dimensions, proportions, orientations, wall flatness, inclinations, etc., and it is based on these products. The results obtained suggest and confirm several hypotheses about the constructive aspects of these hypogea based on a large amount of data, including the determination of a proportional canon used by the ancient Egyptians to plan and perform the excavation works of each funerary structure. The application of this methodology has demonstrated that this type of analysis is viable to unveil some important aspects of these structures and the constructive procedures carried out almost four millennia ago.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>A new methodology is presented to develop geometrical analysis of burial structures based on 3D models.</li> <li>The methodology has been applied to three contiguous burial structures (hypogea), allowing the researchers to analyse some constructive aspects such as dimensions, proportions, orientations, flatness and inclinations.</li> <li>Results have demonstrated the advanced skills achieved by ancient Egyptians in construction techniques.</li> </ul> Antonio Tomás Mozas-Calvache José Luis Pérez-García José Miguel Gómez-López Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review 2022-11-03 2022-11-03 14 28 1 18 10.4995/var.2023.18418 Virtual skeletons and digital muscles: an experimental bioarchaeological approach to the pre-Hispanic production of millstones (Tenerife, Canary Islands) <p>Understanding the physical impact of ancient labours has become an important experimental bioarchaeology area. Complex motion capture systems and digital tools have been used in biomechanical analysis during the reproduction of manual tasks. However, these systems are costly, so the researchers have explored alternative digital solutions. Therefore, the open-access Kinovea software was checked to confirm its reliability in characterizing the physical loads associated with particular works of ancient times. In this case study, the authors have analyzed the central postural angles and muscle chains involved in the indigenous manufacturing process of rotary stone mills, in the high mountains of Tenerife. The study included a virtual motion capture analysis carried out during the different phases of the experimental reproduction of this process; it was defined from the archaeological record of the quarries-workshops of Las Cañadas del Teide National Park (Canary Islands, Spain) volcanic millstones. The results of this study have demonstrated the software's effectiveness to virtually analyze the significant differences in posture between work techniques, observing a predominance of the use of m. biceps brachii, the m. brachioradialis, and the elbow joint during the manufacture of stone mills. On the other hand, Kinovea also has excellent potential in virtual archaeology, giving users tools to generate the average postural angles. As a result, building "virtual skeletons" in more precise work postures has been possible. This may serve as the base element to create complete body representations in virtual environments.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>The combination of biomechanical analysis and open-access Kinovea software enables the study of musculoskeletal and articular wear of experimentally reproduced tasks.</li> <li>The repeated use of the right arm during indirect percussion and abrasion in lithic production could increase the changes in bone robusticity of specific muscle attachments observed in the osteoarchaeological record.</li> <li>Motion ranges and postural angles analysis can generate more accurate representations of "virtual humans" in their archaeological context.</li> </ul> Jared Carballo-Pérez Norberto Marrero-Gordillo Alberto Lacave-Hernández Matilde Arnay-de-la-Rosa Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review 2022-08-22 2022-08-22 14 28 19 37 10.4995/var.2023.17781 Application of real-time rendering technology to archaeological heritage virtual reconstruction: the example of Casas del Turuñuelo (Guareña, Badajoz, Spain) <p>Virtual reconstruction has become a fundamental tool to study and analyse archaeological heritage, given its usefulness for both research and dissemination. Although the discipline has advanced exponentially in recent years, the workflow used in most jobs is still based on the offline methodology as the preferred rendering engine. In contrast, this paper proposes the substitution of this methodology with the new ray tracing in real-time rendering technology; specifically, the authors used Unreal Engine to develop virtual reconstruction work as a research tool during the excavation of an archaeological site, as well as to disseminate the results of the study of each phase. The aim is to exploit the advantages of the immediacy of calculating high-quality and realistic lighting and materials, as well as the interaction and immersion in the virtual model that this system for the development of video games offers. This paper highlights: a) the benefits detected when using real-time technology in heritage reconstruction during the work carried out to date, and b) its limitations and its future evolution with the development of the technology. To demonstrate the usefulness of this tool, the authors present the reconstruction project of the Casas del Turuñuelo site (Guareña, Badajoz). It is one of the best preserved protohistoric sites in the Western Mediterranean, which is why applying this technology to this case study was considered appropriate. The excellent architectural preservation of the Casas del Turuñuelo building is an extraordinary example to assess the usefulness of applying video game engines to heritage reconstruction. This settlement is one of the first known examples of this technology being applied to heritage, specifically, to the virtualisation of an archaeological site under excavation. This methodology and its improvements will be applied to the virtual reconstruction of this project as the excavation of this site advances; thus, one of the main outreach tools developed within the framework of Building Tartessos project will be made available to users as a final product.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>The use of real-time rendering with ray tracing technology as a tool for heritage virtual reconstruction is proposed.</li> <li>The possibilities that the use of next-generation video game engines, specifically Unreal Engine, offer are evaluated in terms of their application in heritage virtualisation.</li> <li>The first results of the virtual reconstruction of the Tartessian site of Casas del Turuñuelo are presented, after using real-time ray tracing technology as a research method to create and review architectural hypotheses.</li> </ul> Esther Rodríguez González Josep R. Casals Ausió Sebastián Celestino Pérez Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review 2022-08-11 2022-08-11 14 28 38 53 10.4995/var.2023.17460 From the cave to the virtual museum: accessibility and democratisation of Franco-Cantabrian Palaeolithic art <p>Palaeolithic art is a cultural manifestation of great importance to understanding the early history of our species. Through this artistic phenomenon, one can study aspects such as long-distance contacts, evidence of learning or the perception with which Palaeolithic humans were able to execute and memorise such precise details. However, there are few virtual repertoires that offer collections of Palaeolithic art. Accessibility to this type of archaeological remains is even more difficult considering conservation is prioritised over tourist visits. For these reasons, Palaeolithic art is today a type of cultural asset that is largely unknown to the population. The project "PaleoArt-3D: regreso al pasado" was created with the aim of democratising this heritage and making it more accessible. To this end, a virtual museum has been developed to exhibit digital models of parietal and portable art with complementary annotations for each one. The methodology includes a first stage dedicated to digitising examples of Palaeolithic art in caves or open-air stations and exhibited in Spanish and French museums. Next, the necessary infrastructure was designed to house the exhibition using specific software such as Blender. Post-processing tasks were carried out to reducing the number of polygons without losing quality. Finally, the museum has been uploaded to the Sketchfab platform to make it freely available online. It is hoped that this virtual museum will contribute to promoting and creating a more significant number of digital resources related to Palaeolithic art that are easily accessible to the public.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Despite being a transcendental cultural manifestation in the history of humanity, there are hardly any open-access virtual repertoires of Palaeolithic art.</li> <li>The numerous photogrammetric studies carried out in successive archaeological campaigns to answer scientific questions can be used in educational and dissemination projects.</li> <li>In the framework of the authors’ outreach project called "PaleoArt-3D: regreso al pasado" a virtual museum has been created to make Palaeolithic art a more accessible and democratic heritage.</li> </ul> Miguel García-Bustos Olivia Rivero Paula García Bustos Ana María Mateo-Pellitero Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review 2022-09-06 2022-09-06 14 28 54 64 10.4995/var.2023.17684 A digital botanical garden: using interactive 3D models for visitor experience enhancement and collection management <p>Botanical gardens are important spots in urban spaces, both for researchers and for many different kinds of public. Conveying scientific information by means of an attractive digital product, on a pre- or post-visit experience, is a way of captivating the public, especially the younger generation, to the relevance of those gardens as repositories of knowledge and for conservation of plant species diversity. This approach also facilitates communication with the general public and access to historical data. On the other hand, bringing the garden to the desktop of researchers and managers can be an advantage, not only for an overview of the status quo but also in spatial planning matters. This paper describes the production of a 3D dynamic model of the Tropical Botanical Garden in Lisbon on top of a Geographic Information System (GIS). Its development included creating a spatial database to organise data originating from a variety of sources, the three-dimensional (3D) modelling of plants, buildings and statues, the creation of web pages with historic and contextual information, as well as the publication of a number of interactive 3D scenes. Several software packages were used, and the final outputs were published in ArcGIS Online to be explored by the public and researchers (link provided at the end of the text). The data are organised in a database, and most 3D modelling tasks are procedural through Computer Generated Architecture (CGA) rules. Thus, updating information or 3D models can be done without having to repeat all steps, an important feature for a dynamic botanical garden. Challenges and solutions are also addressed, providing a constructive contribution to the further implementation of similar experiences in other botanical gardens. According to a user survey carried out, the realism of the representation and the possibility of easily retrieving information from the objects are the most positive aspects of the project.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>A virtual 3D model of a botanical garden was built based on a GIS with plants botanical information and buildings, statues and other assets historical information.</li> <li>The height and crown diameter of individual trees were determined from watershed operations on aerial LiDAR data. Statues were modelled photogrammetrically. Buildings were modelled procedurally using CGA rules.</li> <li>Users found realism and information access to be the most positive points. The way of data organisation and the elaborated modelling rules make the product easily extendable for new data and objects.</li> </ul> Paula Redweik Susana Reis Maria Cristina Duarte Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review 2022-09-08 2022-09-08 14 28 65 80 10.4995/var.2023.17629 The process of digital fabrication and 3D printing as a tool in the study of heritage pathologies: Carcabuey Castle (Cordoba) <p>Precise documentation is essential to carry out the restoration and enhancement processes of protected heritage contexts. Data collection has been increasingly perfected, to the point of being able to perform virtual recreations of complex historical sites, in order to carry out in-depth studies and analyses. An example is Carcabuey Castle (Cordoba, Andalusia), a large fortress with important medieval structures. It is a monumental site of the so-called "Frontier Castles", which were located between the Kingdom of Aragon, and the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. With the aim of restoring it and highlighting its value, an in-depth study was developed for its conservation and subsequent intervention. The data collection included terrestrial laser scanning and vectorising all the structures, as well as a complex and complete photogrammetric survey. From these previous data and carrying out a deductive analytical methodology, a model was generated which, after being printed in 3D (different models at different scales of detail), would allow the volumes, materials and textures which make up the castle, to be studied. The multidisciplinary team, composed of architects, archaeologists, historians and engineers, made it possible to provide multifaceted and inclusive character to all the work, both in the study of pathologies based on the models, and in the construction phases, detected by the stereotomy of the ashlars, or chemical composition of mortars. Since then, with all the data obtained in the research, summarised in this article, it has been possible to carry out a correct diagnosis for the restoration and enhancement of the heritage site.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>High-definition scanning and 3D printing have been used as tools in the detection of heritage pathologies, as well as in the study of materials.</li> <li>The Carcabuey castle has been digitized and the volumetric data recovered from the study of its materials typology and its stereotomy, obtained with laser scanning.</li> <li>The study of construction and material phases, and the pathologies produced by them, has been carried out from the 3D printing of the heritage structure parts.</li> </ul> Pablo Manuel Millán-Millán Celia Chacón-Carretón Cristian Castela González Copyright (c) 2023 Virtual Archaeology Review 2023-01-11 2023-01-11 14 28 81 94 10.4995/var.2023.18213 Abandoned rural pre-industrial heritage: study of the Riamonte mil complex (Galicia, Spain) <p>Each concello (municipality) in Galicia is home to a large number of pre-industrial rural heritage assets integrated into the landscape. Among them are the water mills, usually made up of small constructions that are difficult to reuse in their original function. They are not easily compatible with other uses either. Their current state of abandonment requires their cataloguing and correct valorization as pre-industrial archaeological heritage. These constructions must be conceived as interrelated constructive groupings, in their original physical and social context. A good example of this is the unpublished sample of the Riamonte milling complex. Its study, digitalization and virtual recreation by means of computer-assisted graphics have great potential for dissemination to the public and better integration into the nature trail near the riverbed. Graphically presenting archaeological heritage through virtual media helps to promote social understanding in order to raise awareness of the importance of its protection and irreplaceable nature, especially in case of those vestiges lacking sufficient security to survive. Due to the large amount of vegetation around the wall remains, a rigorous planimetric survey of the entire complex was carried out, followed by three-dimensional (3D) modelling of representative elements. In addition, applying a rigorous principle of transparency, a chromatic differentiation is made in the 2D and 3D virtual reconstructions between already existing and newly added elements. Regarding the 3D model, a historical-archaeological evidence scale is used, allowing a graphic identification of the authenticity degree required to provide reliability in the reconstruction of lost or altered parts. This facilitates virtual recreation interpretation among future researchers from different disciplines. The Riamonte mill complex is part of a typology typical of the region, in which the use of virtual models makes it possible to reach the scales of the territory, the building and the machinery, facilitating the correct understanding of this cultural heritage.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Graphic tools and virtual reconstruction applied to watermills contribute to their overall understanding as an anthropogenic landscape.</li> <li>Virtual reconstruction of the milling mechanisms allows us to understand the mill operation beyond the mere construction preservation.</li> <li>The Riamonte mills are an example of a group of canal mills linked to a single dam and with a social typology of inheriting turns to grind.</li> </ul> Pablo Xosé Pouso-Iglesias Gustavo Arcones-Pascual Santiago Bellido-Blanco David Villanueva Valentín-Gamazo Copyright (c) 2023 Virtual Archaeology Review 2023-01-11 2023-01-11 14 28 95 109 10.4995/var.2023.18652 Photogrammetric state of degradation assessment of decorative claddings: the plasterwork of the Maidens' Courtyard (The Royal Alcazar of Seville) <p>Previous studies and documentation about the state of conservation of architectural or decorative elements are crucial for heritage managers, technicians and researchers to succeed in the maintenance and preservation of the heritage. In this sense, hand tracings, digital drawings, or photographs have traditionally been the methods for alteration and sample mapping. In spite of their effectiveness, these methods have some disadvantages, such as the need for more precision in terms of location, dimensions, quantification and types of alterations. By contrast, high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) models allow us to analyse decorative ancient plasterworks with great precision, offering considerable advantages over traditional tools for heritage documentation. To facilitate stakeholders’ work and enhance the quality of data collected, this work proposes the use of photogrammetry as a tool for the documentation of polychromed ancient plasterworks, taking the upper frieze of the access door to the Charles V ceiling room in the Royal Alcazar of Seville as a case of study. Thus, the work methodology applied has shown several advantages over previous methods. On the one hand, it was possible to obtain a 2D planimetry from the 3D model; this is an essential step for those responsible for heritage, especially in reports prior to restoration interventions. On the other hand, the 3D model created enables present alterations identification, the location of fissures and cracks in their three dimensions (opening, length and depth), deformations measurement and control, the quantification of mass or polychrome loss, and the detached elements digital reconstruction. In this way, highprecision digital results are quickly obtained and accessible to all the experts involved in the heritage conservation and maintenance plan.</p> <p><strong>Highlights:</strong></p> <ul> <li>The photogrammetric survey demonstrates to be a potential tool in the preventive conservation of ancient plasterworks.</li> <li>The high-precision 3D model allows the study and quantification of alterations (e.g. fissures, deformations, and loss of mass or polychromies).</li> <li>The virtual model and the analysis performed with CloudCompare software provide fast, accurate and accessible results to experts in the field.</li> </ul> Marta Torres-González Elena Cabrera Revuelta Ana I. Calero-Castillo Copyright (c) 2023 Virtual Archaeology Review 2023-01-17 2023-01-17 14 28 110 123 10.4995/var.2023.18647 Virtual reconstruction of the shearing building of the Marquis of Perales in El Espinar (Segovia) <p>The architectural remains of the Perales shearing building are located in the town of El Espinar (Segovia) and constitute a unique example for the knowledge and understanding of this industrial, architectural typology typical of Spain and, specifically, of the Segovian foothill region. This building complex was built at the beginning of the 18th century by order of the Marchioness of Perales, who, sponsored by King Philip V, set up one of the most renowned sheep cattle in the history of the nation: Perales livestock. All of it, according to the renovating and industrializing policies promoted by this monarch.</p> <p>This functional building was where the different shearing operations were carried out, including wool classification, its storage and stacking, as well as food and water supplies for its numerous workers and transhumant shepherds throughout the process (about 20 days in May). In addition, it had a magnificent palace to accommodate their noble owners in the same conditions as in their residences in Madrid. All this was uniformly integrated into a single complex in which the hybridization between industry, provisioning and accommodation took place.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the consequences of the Peninsular War (1807-1814) produced the definitive decline of both the wool industry and the transhumance industry; the beginning of the shearing building abandonment started, therefore, as a result of the loss of its function. Specifically, the building was almost completely dismantled through a regressive process sustained throughout the 20th century resulting from new urban motivations and approaches in the area. During these phases, most of the buildings that made up the complex were demolished, leaving only four of the main building walls; the most significant elements of the demolished facades were artificially included. Even so, the surviving remains of this shearing building still show the outstanding quality in the execution and design of its most relevant elements, notably its three large granite doors.</p> <p>For all these reasons, and considering most of the architectural remains of the building had been demolished, the objective of the research is the virtual reconstruction of this important industrial complex linked to Castilian transhumance. To carry it out, a rigorous transversal methodology has been developed, based on the confrontation between the different sources —documentary and own—. That is, the fieldwork and survey work, the original archival documentation, the analysis of recent and historical cartography, the historical photography, the bibliographic review, as well as the comparison with other shearing buildings of the region.</p> <p>Once the hypothesis was constructed, the drawing of the two-dimensional (2D) plans of the building was carried out, thus exposing the internal organization and programmatic distribution of the shearing building. After that, the 3D modelling of the complex was developed, which has allowed the construction of both the analytical images —that show through the use of colour, the evolution of the building or the different construction aspects— and the realistic images —that show the material and spatial qualities of the building—. All this helps to understand the extinct building, as well as the dimensions and capacities of its most significant spaces.</p> <p>Furthermore, it was possible to determine the original layout of this complex, articulated in three independent nuclei (with a specific use) that were integrated into the city and functioned collectively in the development of the complex. For this reason, the reconstruction focuses particularly on emphasizing the importance of this building for the construction of the historic urban landscape and the scenography of the city; during its existence, it presided over some of its streets and squares, adorning them with its rich granite doors. Thus, this research has addressed the reconstruction of all the elements that made up the building and its surroundings, that is, from its implementation to its construction details.</p> <p>This article presents a rigorous and unprecedented graphic reconstruction of the Perales shearing building, which allows us to understand the scope and complexity of this singular architectural example, being a unique and referential model in its typology. This research lays the foundations for recognising and protecting this rich industrial, cultural and architectural heritage, which is at risk of extinction, establishing the paths for its future conservation and safeguarding.</p> Nicolás Gutiérrez Pérez Copyright (c) 2022 Virtual Archaeology Review 2022-09-21 2022-09-21 14 28 124 144 10.4995/var.2023.17913