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The reconstruction of virtual cuneiform fragments in an online environment

Lewis, Andrew William (2016)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Reducing the time spent by experts on the process of cuneiform fragment reconstruction means that more time can be spent on the translation and interpretation of the information that the cuneiform fragments contain. Modern computers and ancillary technologies such as 3D printing have the power to simplify the process of cuneiform reconstruction, and open up the field of reconstruction to non-experts through the use of virtual fragments and new reconstruction methods. In order for computers to be effective in this context, it is important to understand the current state of available technology, and to understand the behaviours and strategies of individuals attempting to reconstruct cuneiform fragments.

This thesis presents the results of experiments to determine the behaviours and actions of participants reconstructing cuneiform tablets in the real and virtual world, and then assesses tools developed specifically to facilitate the virtual reconstruction process. The thesis also explores the contemporary and historical state of relevant technologies. The results of experiments show several interesting behaviours and strategies that participants use when reconstructing cuneiform fragments. The experiments include an analysis of the ratio between rotation and movement that show a significant difference between the actions of successful and unsuccessful participants, and an unexpected behaviour that the majority of participants adopted to work with the largest fragments first. It was also observed that the areas of the virtual workspace used by successful participants was different from the areas used by unsuccessful participants. The work further contributes to the field of reconstruction through the development of appropriate tools that have been experimentally proved to dramatically increase the number of potential joins that an individual is able to make over period of time.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Ch'ng, Eugene and Woolley, Sandra
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Digital Humanities Hub, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage
Additional Information:

Lewis A & Ch’ng E (2012) A Photogrammetric Analysis of Cuneiform Tablets for the purpose of Digital Reconstruction, International Journal of Cultural Heritage in the Digital Era, EuroMED Suppl. 1 (1), p 49-53.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/2047-4970.1.0.49

Lewis A, Woolley S, Ch'ng E, Gehlken E. (2014) Observed Methods of Cuneiform Tablet Reconstruction in Virtual and Real World Environments, Journal of Archaeological Science, vol 53, p 156-165.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.09.024

Ch'ng E, Lewis A, Gehlken E, Woolley S. (2013) A Theoretical Framework for Stigmergetic Reconstruction of Ancient Text. In Visual Heritage in the Digital Age, Springer Cultural Computing Series. p 43.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-5535-5

Ch'ng, E., Woolley, S. I., Hernandez-Munoz, L., Collins, T., Lewis, A., & Gehlken, E. (2014). The development of a collaborative virtual environment for 3D reconstruction of cuneiform tablets. In Virtual Systems & Multimedia (VSMM), 2014 International Conference on. p 35-42. IEEE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/VSMM.2014.7136692

Collins T, Woolley S, Gehlken E, Lewis A, Hernandez Munoz L, Ch'ng E & Ghelken E. (2014) Computer-Assisted Reconstruction of Virtual Fragmented Cuneiform Tablets. In Virtual Systems & Multimedia (VSMM), 2014 International Conference on. p 70-77. IEEE.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/VSMM.2014.7136691

Subjects:AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
CD921 Archives
CN Inscriptions. Epigraphy.
QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6714
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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