(Virtual) Reality of sunken huts?



Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description A sunken hut is one of the basic features of La Tene settlements in the Middle Danube region. Recently, we have observed many attempts at their reconstruction, however, many of them did not consider practical and technical demands of the buildings as such. In addition, many reconstructions lacked proper arguments, on the basis of which the reconstructions were made. This particularly concerns selection of construction/technical parameters which are to be considered optimal/essential for the reconstruction of sunken huts. We can assume the most common types of constructions and materials based on archaeological evidence. But there is still a lack of information for the upper construction. That brings space to discuss the final look of the building itself. For example, common archaeological data that are accessible did not allow us to tell the exact height and width of the upper construction itself. Thus there can be many variations. Building them with experimental archaeology methods will be time and money-consuming. Modern technologies allow us to work with the specific archaeological situation and create a spectrum of variations based on virtual reconstructions. Despite that, the latest virtual reconstruction of sunken huts once again tends to develop perfect and idealistic reconstruction and does not work with the scale of possibilities. The “parametric 3D modelling” is a possible solution to this problem. It can be described as a generalized rule-based system utilizing specific rules, which allows creation of many possible versions of a sunken hut in a short period of time. Such a universal model allows testing of many hypotheses in a virtual environment for each iteration of parameters to the individual rules. For example, we can assess the amount of used material (e.g. wood), smoke in the interior or sunlight access. The virtual environment created in this way brings the opportunity to test these hypotheses without the need for an actual physical reconstruction of a sunken hut. Our work mainly aims to combine the archaeological knowledge with 3D parametric reconstructions and to test all these hypotheses within a “virtual experiment”.

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