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While 3D modeling has only come into widespread archaeological use in recent years, it is hardly a new or untested approach in the study of architecture. Even so, archaeological 3D modeling has largely been limited to use in illustrations, rather than treated as a part of the scientific method. Using the case study of the Minoan House of the Rhyta at Pseira, this article discusses the results of applying 3D modeling as not only a visualization, but also a hypothesis testing tool.
In the summer of 2014, the Minoan Modeling Project undertook a new intensive architectural examination of the Minoan House of the Rhyta at Pseira. The project produced both state and reconstructed 3D models. The 3D reconstruction became the basis of an educational video game designed as a scientific tool to test architectural theories about the use of space. As gamers interact with and circulate through the various rooms in the House of the Rhyta, their movements are tracked and statistically compared with the results of more traditional methods of access and circulation pattern analysis. This article presents preliminary results of this crowdsourced online game study, in addition to discussing strengths and weaknesses of the technique as learned through the process of building the model and game.
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