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3D modelling of My Son Unesco Site

We recently visited Vietnam for a holiday and had the chance to visit the My Son UNESCO Heritage site. This site consists of a group of Hindu temples constructed to worship the god Shiva and located in central Vietnam.

My Son is a beautiful site that unfortunately also suffered partial destruction during the war. Today parts of My Son have been restored and 3D models of the various buildings have been created.


These articles written by teams that worked on the reconstruction of the My Son temples give a lot of details about the process:

  • 3D survey and virtual reconstruction of archeological sites: This paper discusses the process (in a lot of detail) of creating archaeological 3D models by applying the process to a number of temples at My Son. The 3D models allowed for an accurate documentation of the state of the site before reconstruction. These also served as a good starting point for the reconstruction process, which was based on first creating some reconstruction models. The article adds a nice diagram representing the process followed for the reconstruction of one of the temples,  I’ve added the diagram below:

process 3d modeling.PNG

In addition to these articles, I found that the Vietnamese Goethe Institut has held an event before to show the use of 3D modeling for museums and exhibitions. They have done this by creating a virtual tour through My Son and other Vietnamese historical buildings, such as the temple of literature. Funnily enough I am starting German lessons at the South African Goethe Institut in a few days and suddenly I found this information. Maybe they host such interesting events here too.

When we were at My Son we walked past some buildings that were still under restoration. These 3D models are probably still serving as a good base for restoration. It was interesting to see the different stages of the process. We saw buildings still covered in vegetation (they are very difficult to spot), buildings still under restoration, completely restored buildings and some some buildings that partially survived the war.

Here is a photograph of our trip to My Son. The small me on the left can serve as some sort of scale, though I am a bit on the short side, so not a very good scale.


I hope that this post gets some archaeologists excited about visiting the beautiful country of Vietnam.

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Computational archaeology news – January 2016

Quite a few news have gathered since the last news post, here they are:






Pottery resources


  • Unearthed in 2015, Part 1: Podcast mentioning historical news, including various mentions of computational archaeology applications


Research groups




Twitter accounts

Here are some twitter accounts i’ve followed lately for their content relevant to computational archaeology:


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Slack group for the Digital Humanities

In a previous post I mentioned a Slack chat group for the Crafting Digital History course taking place from the 11th of January. Our lecturer has been quite active on the group and has shared numerous valuable resources already. One of these resources was the mention of the Digital Humanities Slack team where archaeologists, historians, curators, developers, and anyone else interested in digital humanities gets together virtually and shares a  plethora of information relevant to the field.

There are lots of channels in this slack group including tutorials, jobs, data-sharing, conferences and so on. You can introduce yourself in the introductions channel and start getting to know people.

To join this group you can use this invitation.

For those unfamiliar with Slack, you can download the desktop/mobile application here  or just log in on the web site.

Happy chatting:)


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Crafting Digital History Course starting

A few blog posts ago I mentioned that Shawn Graham from the Electric Archaeology blog will be presenting a course  which is freely open to anyone. This course is called Crafting Digital History and it will commence on the 11th of January.

There is an opportunity to gain official credits as well if you want, you can read more on that here.

The course syllabus can be found here.

The workbook can be found here.

There is also a Slack chat team that you can join using this invite.

Hope to see some of you there:)


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Computational Archaeology Lego

Yes, this post is as silly as it sounds, but it was necessary ^^.

It was my birthday recently and my partner wrote me a story about a marine archaeologist using an ROV to discover a treasure. He played this out with little Lego pieces, including a Lego ROV. Here is a picture of this cute Lego ROV:


And things got ridiculous.




So inspired by this, here are a couple of links about underwater Lego robots:

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Computational Archaeology News and Articles – November 2015

There have been quite a few computational archaeology related articles lately. Here’s a list:



Other Links



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OpenRov’s new Kickstarter – Trident

I’ve written before about an open source robotics project for marine exploration called OpenROV.

These awesome guys have started a second Kickstarter project called Trident. This project aims to build a marine exploration robot that has the following qualities:

  • Can be used by anyone
  • Is light weight
  • Can be controlled in various ways (remote control, oculus rift or even become autonomous)
  • Can move around the water in a much smoother fashion
  • Is fun to operate
  • Uses open source software
  • Can be used to create 3D models via photogrammetry
  • Is adaptable (allowing users to add new components to the robot)
  • Will encourage marine exploration around the world by anyone


As for every Kickstarter project, there are rewards for those who contribute (note that there is an image with the pledge rewards on the Kickstarter page, but they have recently added categories that are not on this image):

  • $1 or more -> Receive e-mail updates about news and expeditions
  • $10 or more (NEW) -> Become one of the Beta test pilots by controlling the Trident remotely over the internet (very excited to do this!).
  • $25 or more -> OpenROV Beanie
  • $599 or more -> Get a huge discount on the Trident (super early bird – all gone😦 )
  • $799 or more -> Get a huge discount on the Trident (early bird – all gone😦 )
  • $949 or more -> Special price for Trident, still available but limited
  • $1000 or more -> sponsor a high school, which will receive the original OpenRov robot.
  • $1199 or more -> The Trident Underwater Drone
  • $1599 or more (NEW) -> 2 Trident Underwater Drones
  • $3699 -> 5 Trident Underwater Drones

Unfortunately I don’t earn in dollars, so my pledge doesn’t get me this awesome drone. However, contributions in the following forms can be made by you and me:

  • Becoming a Beta tester and remote controlling the Trident
  • Contributing to the Open Source project through code (clone branch on GitHub)
  • Sharing exploration notes and proposals on OpenExplorer

For more information on this project and to pledge visit their kickstarter page.


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