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The Dig Hill 80 project is a crowdfunded rescue archaeology project on a battlefield of the First World War in Flanders, Belgium. The site is important for its large number of well preserved finds, as well as the number of missing soldiers discovered from multiple nations during the conflict. The Visualizing History team joined the Dig Hill 80 team for the purposes of:

  • Exploring the rapid turn around of visualization data
  • Gathering data for development of immersive tools for archaeology
  • Exploring what is possible with these tools to support field and post-excavation analysis, education, and outreach

Data we gathered during the Dig Hill 80 project is being used as the basis for our experiments with Immersive Archaeology. The first part of that project is to develop an online, multi-user virtual environment for guided and unguided exploration of the site. Working closely with Simon Verdegem and Raph De Brant of the Dig Hill 80 project, we are testing our approaches in this demonstration site.

To preview our virtual dig, click here.

Additionally, four projects within the framework of the Dig HIll 80 collaboration are described below:

Data Collection

Description

A small team of faculty joined the Dig Hill 80 team to perform laser scanning of an active archaeological dig, individual finds of that dig, aerial photogrammetry of the site, and a 360-degree video documentation in support of the Immersive Archaeology proposal Dr. Ogle is pushing forward.

Faculty Partners 

David Hicks | School of Education | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Thomas Tucker | School of Visual Arts | College of Architecture and Urban Studies

DongSoo Choi | School of Visual Arts | College of Architecture and Urban Studies

External Partners

Simon Verdegem (Belgian Archaeologist)

Robin Shaffer (German Historian)

Peter Doyle (English Historian) 

Retopologizing Scan Data

Description

Laser scans of individual finds from the site required processing and retopologizing so that they could be turned into 3D models for use in virtual and augmented reality. Creative Technology students

Faculty Partners

Phat Nguyen | School of Visual Arts | College of Architecture and Urban Studies

Students Engaged 

Daniel Monzel | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Bridget Olson | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Aurash Audin | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Xavier Harrison | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Emily Harris | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Brady Blauvelt | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

360-degree Video Production

Description

Ms. Olson and Mr. Jung collaborated to edit the 360-degree video shot on location in Belgium, and to begin to bring in the supporting information that will make the raw footage an engaging documentary for distribution.

Faculty Partners

David Hicks | School of Education | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Students Engaged 

Bridget Olson | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

William Jung | Major: History | Learning Experience: Undergraduate Independent Study

Interactive Map for schools

Description

Based on 3D models and orthophotos derived from aerial photogrammetry and processed by students, an interactive map that loads 360 videos and models of artifacts from the site was developed and printed for use by two teachers in Blacksburg Middle School. Visit this link to view, download and print the map for your own use.

Faculty Partners

David Hicks | School of Education | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Students Engaged 

Daniel Monzel | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Aurash Audin | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Xavier Harrison | Major: Creative Technologies | Learning Experience: Paid Work Experience

Simon Verdegem tells us what can be learned from the 1917-1918 trench excavation.
A French canteen excavated at HIll 80 in 2018.
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