Recoding the nautical archaeology : virtual museum of underwater cultural heritage
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The preservation of underwater cultural heritage requires the availability and access to data produced by nautical archaeology alongside tools for analysis, visualization and communication. Although numerous archaeological surveys and excavations have been carried out in the past decades in Turkey, there is no publicly available information system integrated to nautical archaeology. This dissertation proposes a framework of a virtual museum of underwater cultural heritage (VM). VM incorporates the practices of collection, preservation, research, visualization and exhibit, thus offers new approaches to the preservation of cultural heritage. In this dissertation, a web-based information system has been developed for a model of virtual museum using the data collected during underwater surveys conducted on the coastal region of Kaş, Turkey in 2007-2010. Divers from a variety of professional backgrounds followed the practice of in situ preservation, collecting visual, geographical and descriptive data using structured datasheets. Through the analysis of these nondestructive methods, an information system and a data collection methodology are developed aiming the contribution of all interested parties in a collaborative manner. The system currently contains information on c.600 finds in the form of sketches, measurements, drawings, photographs of finds. Combined with Google Maps, the database illustrates the initial technological steps towards the development of a virtual museum. Divers, archaeologists and other interested users of this information system participate in the musealization of information through separately applied analysis, visualization and communication tools by open software programs. These initial steps demonstrate the methods for the automation of data analysis and visual documentation, the visualization of information and the communication of this knowledge. Futuristic concepts of automated, immersive and interactive design redefine the virtual museum of underwater cultural heritage as well as offer different approaches to the discipline of nautical archaeology.
underwater cultural heritage
digital/ virtual museum
in situ preservation