The above snapshot features the avatars of UC Berkeley anthropology professor Ruth Tringham, OKAPI staff Noah Wittman, and Undergraduate Research (URAP) Apprentice Daniel Wei in the 3d multi-user virtual environment of Second Life (www.secondlife.com). Daniel, a second-year electrical engineering and computer science major, has been researching how to facilitate navigation through a virtual excavation site and its associated documentary materials. Daniel created a 3d representation of the UC Berkeley (BACH) excavation at the archaeological site at Çatalhöyük, Turkey, which contains the remains of a 9000-year-old Neolithic village. In addition to creating the 3d structure of the site, Daniel scripted objects so that they provide audio-visual feedback and information upon touch. He is also working on a notebook where visitors can leave comments. These and other experiments will be incorporated into professor Tringham’s multimedia courses and a new website under construction that will feature excavation materials from Çatalhöyük in Second Life.
Exploring Çatalhöyük in Second Life