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 the Virtual Karam Collection, a digitization project of archaeological heritage consisting of a collection of artifacts that has limited access and is not properly shared and communicated with the public: The Farid Karam Lebanese Antiquities Collection of the University of South Florida’s Libraries. 149 objects were 3D scanned and the digital models were shared with the public using an ad hoc web platform. It is clear that digital renderings cannot replace real objects; however, the digital surrogates and replicas 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 having student stakeholders in the collection participate in creation of the replicas. The promising result of this project offers a new perspective on the practice of virtual mimesis of ancient artifacts as strategic educational tool both for people with visual impairments and cognitive disabilities, and for the general public which can learn more using the touch interaction.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Presented at the Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies 2018 in Vienna, Austria.
Scholar Commons Citation
Tanasi, David; Hassam, Stephan; and Kingsland, Kaitlyn, "Virtual Karam Collection: 3D Digital Imaging and 3D Printing for Public Outreach in Archaeology" (2018). History Faculty Publications. 309.