Abstract

The Virtual Site Museum is an interactive virtual reality interface for various purposes including archaeological research, education, and public demonstration. Its virtual environment contains precise, authoritative, and integrated archaeological and historical files culled from published and unpublished excavation records and the various art museums, which preserve artifacts from the real archaeological site. Running in real-time, it provides full-body immersion, 3D ancient figure animation, and a virtual artifacts interface and corresponding user-oriented interactions in a functional virtual environment. The first of the sites to be documented in the Virtual Site Museum was the Northwest Palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 bc), located in northeastern Iraq, a famous Assyrian world heritage archaeological site. In this paper we describe how we applied Virtual Reality (VR) to a cultural heritage in peril, and how we are adapting previously generated PC versions to UNIX platforms. We also explain our experiences and achievements in archaeological research and classroom accessibility.

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