Serious Gaming for Virtual Archaeoastronomy

Main Article Content

Georg Zotti
Bernard Frischer
John Fillwalk

Abstract

Many cultures worldwide have left traces of sacred architecture and monuments which often show correlation to astronomical events like solstitial sunrises. Virtual archaeology can be used to explore such orientation patterns using digital reconstructions and positions of celestial objects computed from modern astronomical models. Most 3D editing systems used to build virtual reconstructions of such monuments however fail to provide astronomically accurate solar illumination models which can recreate the slightly different solar positions of antiquity or even prehistory, and even worse, any usable representation of the night sky. In recent years, two systems created independently by the authors of this study have been utilized for investigations into the orientation of architecture with respect to celestial processes. Both had their advantages and shortcomings compared to each other. One extended a dedicated open-source desktop astronomy program with a 3D rendering engine where such monuments can be investigated in the first-person perspective by interactive walkthrough. The other system uses a game engine and external online resources which provides only solar or planetary positions, but no star data. This study presents ways of connecting both systems in an attempt to take advantage of the best of both approaches.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Zotti, G., Frischer, B., & Fillwalk, J. (2020). Serious Gaming for Virtual Archaeoastronomy. Studies in Digital Heritage, 4(1), 51–74. https://doi.org/10.14434/sdh.v4i1.31041
Section
Research Articles
Author Biography

Georg Zotti, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology

Researcher at LBI ArchPro; Stellarium Co-Developer

References

Edwin Barnhart and Christopher Powell. 2013. The importance of zenith passage at Angkor, Cambodia. (2013). Retrieved March 20, 2020 from http://mayaexploration.com/pdf/angkorzenithpassage.pdf
Juan Antonio Belmonte, Mosalam Shaltout and Magdi Fekri. 2009. Astronomy, Landscape and Symbolism: A Study of the Orientation of Ancient Egyptian Temples. In: Juan Antonio Belmonte and Mosalam Shaltout: In Search of Cosmic Order: Selected Essays on Egyptian Archaeoastronomy. Supreme Council of Antiquities Press, Cairo ISBN: 9789774794836, p. 213.
Juan M. Carrillo Gea, Ambrosio Toval, José L. Fernández Alemán, Joaquín Nicolás y Mariano Flores. 2013. The London Charter and the Seville Principles as sources of requirements for e-archaeology systems development purposes. Virtual Archaeology Review, 4(9), 205–211. https://doi.org/10.4995/var.2013.4275
Denard, H. The London Charter for the computer-based visualisation of cultural heritage (2009). Retrieved from http://www.londoncharter.org/fileadmin/templates/main/docs/london_charter_2_1_en.pdf
Bernard Frischer and John Fillwalk. 2012. The Digital Hadrian’s Villa Project: Using Virtual Worlds to Control Suspected Solar Alignments, in Gabriele Guidi and Alonzo C. Addison, editors, Proc. VSMM2012 (Virtual Systems in the Information Society), IEEE, Milano, September 2012. IEEE. pp. 49–55.
Bernard Frischer, Georg Zotti, Zaccaria Mari and Giuseppina Capriotti Vittozzi. 2016. Archaeoastronomical experiments supported by virtual simulation environments: Celestial alignments in the Antinoeion at Hadrian’s Villa (Tivoli, Italy). Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 3(3), 55–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.daach.2016.06.001
Bernard Frischer, John Fillwalk, Paolo Albéri-Auber, David S. P. Dearborn, Mika Kajava, and Stefano Floris. 2017. Edmund Buchner’s Solarium Augusti: new observations and simpirical studies. In: Rendiconti (Atti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, Serie III) Vol. LXXXIX. pp.3–90. Tipografia Vaticana.
Michael Hoskin. 2001. Tombs, Temples and their Orientations: A New Perspective on Mediterranean Prehistory. Ocarina Books, Bognor Regis.
Lynn Jarvis. 2018. Spout. Realtime video sharing framework for Windows. Online at https://spout.zeal.co (Last accessed 2020-03-26)
Norman Lockyer. 1906. Stonehenge and other British Stone Monuments Astronomically Considered. London, Macmillan and Co.
Giulio Magli. 2016. Archaeoastronomy: Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones. Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics. Springer International Publishing AG Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22882-2
S. Mohammad Mozaffari and Georg Zotti. 2012. Ghāzān Khān’s Astronomical Innovations at Marāgha Observatory. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 132(3):395–425, July–September 2012.
Michael Rappenglück. 1996. The Pleiades in the „Salle des Taureaux“, Grotte de Lascaux (France). Does a Rock Picture in the Cave of Lascaux Show the Open Star Cluster of the Pleiades at the Magdalénien Era, ca. 15.300 B.C.? Actas del IV Congreso de la SEAC – Proceedings of the IVth SEAC Meeting „Astronomy and Culture“. Ed. by Carlos Jaschek & F. Atrio Barandela. Salamanca 1996, pp. 217–225.
Johann A. Repsold. 1918. Zur Geschichte der astronomischen Meßwerkzeuge, Astronomische Nachrichten 206: Cols. 125-138.
Clive L. N. Ruggles. 2015. Stonehenge and its Landscape. In: C.L.N. Ruggles (ed.), Handbook of Archaeo¬astronomy and Ethnoastronomy, pp. 1223-38. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_118, Springer Science+Business Media New York
Stefan Schlupek. 2015. Spout4Unity. https://github.com/sloopidoopi/Spout4Unity Last accessed 2020-04-07.
Iván Šprajc. 1996. Venus, lluvia y maíz: simbolismo y astronomía en la cosmovisión mesoamericana. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Córdoba, Mexico.
Iván Šprajc. 2015. Astronomical Correlates of Architecture and Landscape in Mesoamerica. In: C.L.N. Ruggles (ed.), Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, pp. 715–728. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_56, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Frank Ventura and Michael Hoskin. 2015. Temples of Malta. In: C.L.N. Ruggles (ed.), Handbook of Archaeo-astronomy and Ethnoastronomy, pp. 1421-30. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_133, Springer Science+Business Media New York
Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, Pedro M. Latorre Andrés and Francisco J. Serón Arbeloa. 2013. Serious Games Network. Virtual Archaeology Review, 4(9), 174–180. https://doi.org/10.4995/var.2013.4271
Georg Zotti and Wolfgang Neubauer. 2012a. A Virtual Reconstruction Approach for Archaeoastronomical Research. In Gabriele Guidi and Alonzo C. Addison, editors, Proc. VSMM2012 (Virtual Systems in the Information Society), Milano, September 2012. IEEE. pp. 33–40. https://doi.org/10.1109/VSMM.2012.6365904
Georg Zotti and Wolfgang Neubauer. 2012b. Virtual Reconstructions in a Desktop Planetarium for Demonstrations in Cultural Astronomy. In M. Ioannides, D. Fritsch, J. Leissner, R. Davies, F. Remondino, and R. Caffo, editors, Progress in Cultural Heritage Preservation (Proc. 4th International Conference EuroMed 2012, Limassol, Cyprus, Oct. 29–Nov. 3, 2012), volume 7616 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 170–180, Heidelberg, November 2012. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-34234-9_17
Georg Zotti. 2014. Towards serious gaming for archaeoastronomical simulation. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 14(3), 271–281. Retrieved from http://maajournal.com/Issues/2014/Vol14-3/Full25.pdf
Georg Zotti. 2016. Open-Source Virtual Archaeoastronomy. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 16(4), 17–24. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.207260
Georg Zotti, Florian Schaukowitsch and Michael Wimmer. 2017. The Skyscape Planetarium. In Liz Henty, Bernadette Brady, Darrelyn Gunzburg, Frank Prendergast, and Fabio Silva, editors, The Marriage of Astronomy and Culture: Theory and Method in the Study of Cultural Astronomy (Papers from the 2016 SEAC Conference), volume 21 of Culture and Cosmos, pp.269–281, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter 2017. Culture and Cosmos & Sophia Centre Press. http://www.cultureandcosmos.org/pdfs/21/CCv21_17Zotti.pdf
Georg Zotti, Florian Schaukowitsch and Michael Wimmer. 2018. Beyond 3D Models: Simulation of Phased Models in Stellarium. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 4, 501–506. Available from http://maajournal.com/Issues/2018/Vol18-4/63_Zotti%20et%20al%2018(4).pdf
Georg Zotti and Alexander Wolf. 2020. Stellarium User Guide, version 0.20.0. March 2020. Available from https://github.com/Stellarium/stellarium/releases/download/v0.20.0/stellarium_user_guide-0.20.0-1.pdf
Georg Zotti. to appear. A Virtual Park of Astronomical Instruments. Proc. SEAC2018, Graz.
Georg Zotti and S. Mohammad Mozaffari. to appear. New Light on the Main Instrument of the Samarqand Observatory. Journal for the History of Astronomy.