Street View for the Bronze Age
Our brains aren’t wired to look at 3,200-year-old ruins and see the vibrant city that once was, but soon our smartphones will do just that.
UBC archaeologists working among ruins on the island of Cyprus are developing a new mobile application that lets users tour Bronze Age rubble and see reconstructed city buildings.
Point your mobile device at an archaeological dig and a scene will come alive before your eyes. It’s like a Google Street View for the past, but in the lexicon of the tech-world it’s known as augmented reality.
“The experience of being able to walk about an archaeological site and see what an ancient city might have looked like in its original context is unique,” says UBC researcher Kevin Fisher.
“Augmented reality is a relatively new technology but it has the potential to revolutionize the way people experience archaeological sites.”
For this project, Fisher, a professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies, has partnered with a group of engineers at UBC’s Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), led by postdoctoral fellow Payam Rahmdel.
For now the researchers are developing the app for just one archaeological site but the project could be a stepping-stone for creating new tools for archaeologists and tourists.