Cyberculture meets ancient culture in Forte and Siliotti's "atlas of archaeological models." Using computer reconstructions of many of the world's most fascinating archaeological sites, the editors show us just how much cybertechnology adds to our understanding of lost worlds. They document how, as sites are unearthed, measured, and documented, the discoveries find their way into cybernetic models that both sharpen scholars' understanding of the discoveries and allow scholars to further explore these worlds. The process of constructing digital models forces archaeologists to systematically ask questions about what the lighting would have been like in a particular room or what a building's original texture and color would have been. The resulting models may go so far as to allow scholars to walk the virtual roadways and hallways of ancient cities, seeing them very similarly to how they would have appeared to their inhabitants. As new data arises, archaeologists can alter the models accordingly.
Forte and Siliotti's gorgeous oversize volume displays these cybermodels alongside the stories of the discoveries themselves. The book shows many lifelike and stunning representations of long-lost places. However, not only do the cybermodels offer insight into the distant past, they also provide invaluable models of the immediate past--the excavations themselves. The editors discuss how archaeology paradoxically involves a degree of destruction to enable reconstruction. Forte and Siliotti explain that each excavation requires a level of history to be moved out of the way to reveal the level beneath. And while archaeologists replace what they move, virtual archaeology allows for three-dimensional models to maintain details of the entire site in easily accessible cyberspace. Beautiful to look at and awe-inspiring to read, Virtual Archaeology is an ideal book for all those who love both the past and the future.
From School Library Journal
YA?This beautiful book is a dual treasure. It contains an information-laden yet highly accessible text and a variety of well-chosen and fascinating illustrations. The 50 chapters are divided into 5 sections, presenting material on sites in Africa, the Near East, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Each chapter covers such topics as the history of the particular site, aspects of the civilization it represents, and some archaeological details of the structures and realia. All reflect the "new directions being opened up by the conjunction of archaeological research and technology." The illustrations include enlightening computer reconstructions such as those of the passageways of Egypt's tomb of Horemheb, a Mongol encampment, the Oetztaler Ice Man's skull, the Lascaux caves and paintings, and the probable original appearance of Beijing's Forbidden City. The sites included provide a wonderful sampling of the world's ancient cultures and civilizations from the well known to the lesser known.?Lorna Kundert, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.