Towards Serious Gaming for Archaeoastronomical Simulation


In the last years an ever-increasing number of virtual models has been developed for research and communication of archaeological knowledge and hypotheses about cultural heritage monuments. Nowadays whole archaeological landscapes with temples and other buildings can be digitally reconstructed in virtual space. A virtual walk through such a landscape provides a proper view of the past as good as it can be derived from archaeological knowledge. Together with advances in character animation this allows the creation of increasingly popular lively and eye-catching installations for public education in museum installations. There are many archaeological remains which have also been interpreted in an astronomical context. Accurate virtual models combined with a correctly modeled sky allow an immediate archaeoastronomical investigation and interpretation, and can then also be used to display the potential finds to a wider audience. However, there is a gap between good sky simulations and good architectural simulations, in that the first are usually not able to render three-dimensional architecture, and the latter usually only allow very simple or at best present-day sky simulations. This paper discusses the use of the popular Unity game engine for the presentation of the archaeological landscape around the two Neolithic circular ditch systems near today’s Pranhartsberg (Lower Austria), where one shows a very accurate solstitial entrance orientation.

Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Georg Zotti
Georg Zotti