Phys .org: 3-D reconstructions of boats from the ancient port of Rome

Phys .org: 3-D reconstructions of boats from the ancient port of Rome. “Today, Fiumicino in Italy is a busy airport, but 2,000 years ago this area was filled with boats—it was a large artificial harbor only a stone’s throw from the ancient port of Rome (Ostia). To tie in with the opening of the site’s newly refurbished museum, Giulia Boetto, a CNRS researcher at the Camille Jullian Centre (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université), has coordinated 3-D reconstructions of three of the wooden boats found at Fiumicino. These boats, in use between the 2nd and early 5th centuries AD, were abandoned in the port, at which time, they became waterlogged and covered with a layer of sediment. These oxygen-free conditions enabled the boats to survive until they were excavated, almost 60 years ago.”

New Atlas: Ancient sunken continent of Zealandia laid bare in new interactive maps

New Atlas: Ancient sunken continent of Zealandia laid bare in new interactive maps. “Newly released maps of Zealandia, a massive sunken landmass many have argued should be classified as Earth’s eighth continent, are revealing the topography of this underwater land in unprecedented detail. The new trove of data comes from New Zealand research institute GNS Science, which has released two new maps alongside an interactive website designed to give people novel ways to explore the complex geoscience data.”

Engadget: Google’s latest VR app lets you gaze at prehistoric paintings

Engadget: Google’s latest VR app lets you gaze at prehistoric paintings. “Chauvet: Meet the Ancestors contains 54 curated exhibits with over 350 digitized assets. These include 3D models of the iconic The Horses Fresco painting and a bear skull that was left behind by some of the cave’s inhabitants. In addition, Google has created a 10-minute VR experience called Chauvet: The Dawn of Art for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets. The free app has 12 explorable ‘stations’ that cover the surroundings of the cave and some of the site’s most famous paintings.”

Phys .org: Big data could yield big discoveries in archaeology, scholar says

Phys .org: Big data could yield big discoveries in archaeology, scholar says. “In a recently released edition of the Journal of Field Archaeology, Brown Assistant Professor of Anthropology Parker VanValkenburgh and several colleagues detailed new research they conducted in the former Inca Empire in South America using drones, satellite imagery and proprietary online databases. Their results demonstrate that big data can provide archaeologists with a sweeping, big-picture view of the subjects they study on the ground—prompting new insights and new historical questions.”

Hyperallergic: Explore Ancient Athens Online Through 3D Models, Created by One Animator Over 12 Years

Hyperallergic: Explore Ancient Athens Online Through 3D Models, Created by One Animator Over 12 Years. “Visitors to the site can browse reconstructions that date back as early as 1200 BCE, the Mycenaean period — or Bronze Age — through Classical Athens, featuring the rebuilds made necessary by the Greco-Persian War, and ages of occupation by Romans and Ottomans. Tsalkanis traces the evolution of sites like the Acropolis throughout the ages, the rise and fall of the city walls, the Agora, which served as center of city life, and various temples, libraries, and other fortifications.”

Asian and African Studies Blog (British Library): Zoroastrian collections in the British Library

Asian and African Studies Blog (British Library): Zoroastrian collections in the British Library. “In the past few years several of our manuscripts have become familiar through exhibitions such as Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination held at SOAS (2013) and New Delhi (2016) and also through the Zoroastrian articles and collection items included in our recent website Discovering Sacred Texts. Building on this and thanks to the philanthropic support of Mrs Purviz Rusy Shroff, we have now been able to complete digitisation of the whole collection. This introductory post outlines the history of the collection and is intended as the first in a series highlighting the collection as the manuscripts go live during the next few months.”

Mummy returns: Voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian priest brought to life (BBC)

BBC: Mummy returns: Voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian priest brought to life. “When Nesyamun died, his voice fell silent, but 3,000 years on, a team of researchers have brought it back to life. They have done so by producing a 3D-printed voice box based Nesyamun’s vocal tract, which was scanned to establish its precise dimensions. By using the vocal tract with an artificial larynx sound, they synthesised a vowel sound meant to be similar to the voice of Nesyamun.”

The Australian: Buried Roman city ‘discovered’ by Google Earth

The Australian: Buried Roman city ‘discovered’ by Google Earth. “Thanks to the clever use of electrical sensors, some ancient sources and Google Earth, Ostia Antica, the excavated, sprawling Roman city that rivals Pompeii is about to get bigger. The buildings set to emerge in the unassuming field on the edge of town could also change the way historians view the once-bustling port at the mouth of the Tiber.”

Phys .org: Israeli museum explains the emojis of ancient Egypt

Phys .org: Israeli museum explains the emojis of ancient Egypt. “How does an academic explain the importance of ancient hieroglyphics to modern audiences glued to their phones? Through the cunning use of emojis. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem this week opened the ‘Emoglyphs’ exhibition, comparing the pictograms of antiquity to those of today.”

TuftsNow: Nothing Gets Lost in Translation in the Perseus Digital Library

TuftsNow: Nothing Gets Lost in Translation in the Perseus Digital Library. “Gregory Crane, professor of classical studies and computer science at Tufts, recently won a large grant to further his work digitizing ancient literature in multiple languages.”

Ars Technica: Archaeologists found 143 more images among the Nazca Lines

Ars Technica: Archaeologists found 143 more images among the Nazca Lines. “Archaeologists have rediscovered 143 more enormous drawings called geoglyphs etched on the rocky ground of Peru’s Nazca Desert, with one of the finds coming courtesy of a machine-learning algorithm. The new images emphasize how much ancient art lies on the 450 square kilometer (280 square mile) Nazca Desert and how much of it archaeologists still need to find and document.”

Reason: A German Museum Tried To Hide This Stunning 3D Scan of an Iconic Egyptian Artifact. Today You Can See It for the First Time

Reason: A German Museum Tried To Hide This Stunning 3D Scan of an Iconic Egyptian Artifact. Today You Can See It for the First Time. “In Berlin, the state-funded Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection has a high-quality, full-color 3D scan of the most iconic portrait sculpture ever produced, the 3,364-year-old Bust of Nefertiti. It has held this artifact since 1920, just a few years after its discovery in Amarna, Egypt; Egypt has been demanding its repatriation ever since it first went on display. The bust is one of the most copied works of ancient Egyptian art, and has become a cultural symbol of Berlin. For reasons the museum has difficulty explaining, this scan too is off-limits to the public. Rather, it was off-limits. I was able to obtain it after a 3-year-long freedom of information effort directed at the organization that oversees the museum.”

University of North Carolina: Archaeologists open ‘virtual museum’ of ancient NC history online

University of North Carolina: Archaeologists open ‘virtual museum’ of ancient NC history online. “The public got its first peek at decades of work by Carolina archaeologists when the new interactive website, Ancient North Carolinians: A Virtual Museum of North Carolina Archaeology, launched Nov. 15. Using lesson plans, travel guides and a gallery of 3D artifact images, AncientNC raises awareness of the 15,000-year history of North Carolina’s indigenous populations and provides educational resources for the state’s teachers and students.”

Daily Iowan: UI fossil collection receives 18,000 donated pieces

Daily Iowan: UI fossil collection receives 18,000 donated pieces. “UI Earth and Environmental Sciences Collections Manager Tiffany Adrain is in charge of handling the fossil donation. She helped move the 250 boxes of bones this summer with the help of four intrigued students…. [Robert] Wolf documented all of his fossils on index cards and organized them into 22 boxes and two binders. This information will be cross-referenced by professionals and faculty members from the UI and other institutions after it is added to an online database, Adrain said.”

TechCrunch: AI is helping scholars restore ancient Greek texts on stone tablets

TechCrunch: AI is helping scholars restore ancient Greek texts on stone tablets. “Machine learning and AI may be deployed on such grand tasks as finding exoplanets and creating photorealistic people, but the same techniques also have some surprising applications in academia: DeepMind has created an AI system that helps scholars understand and recreate fragmentary ancient Greek texts on broken stone tablets.”