Using case studies from his work in the Bazyan Basin, Ricardo Cabral outlines the digital technologies that can be used to survey and explore sites threatened by agriculture, development and industry in Iraq.
Recent developments in the field of 3D technologies, including access to low cost volumetric surveys, virtual reality systems and 3D printing, have been gradually transforming the traditional modes of recording, research and dissemination of archaeological heritage. The application of these digital technologies has opened a wide range of possibilities and solutions in the preservation and dissemination of archaeological sites, playing an especially important role in unstable socio-political contexts.
It is in this context that the Kani Shaie Archaeological Project, which takes place in Iraqi Kurdistan, has, since 2013, adopted a multi-scale 3D scanning methodology, combining Unmanned Air Vehicles, photogrammetry, GIS and handheld laser scanners for the documentation and preservation of the site and its archaeological remains.
The use of these digital tools proved to be not only a solution for the remote analysis of archaeological data, providing greater insight into the archaeological contexts and artifacts, but simultaneously allowed us to develop a virtual reality application that provides an interactive approach to the dissemination of the archaeological heritage to the public. The application of these technologies will assist in the coming years to document in a digital format the threatened and rapidly disappearing cultural heritage of the Bazyan valley.