Augmented reality technology has made archaeological sites and artifacts much more accessible to the general public. Through augmented reality, travelers can virtually “handle” artifacts and view archaeological features in their exact locations even after the sites’ excavations have been completed. 

Archeologists work to reconstruct the historical development of mankind. The extracted data of an archeological excavation is usually spatially referenced and visualized with the help of maps or geographical information systems. With augmented reality, 3D models offer interaction opportunities for museum visitors, academics, and future archeologists to experience the finds of archeological work as if still on an excavation site. 

In education, archeology through augmented reality becomes a platform for learning, motivating and understanding certain events and historical elements by students and researchers. With augmented reality, it is possible to explore sites that are not often directly accessible by the user. 

One archeologist that is a pioneer in using augmented-reality technology to visually recreates ancient ruins is Stuart Eve. Eve has designed an augmented reality system in which he recreated the landscape of historic sites and placed original structures in their proper locations on a map. With his app, he could actually walk inside and see what the view from the front door of the village huts on the historic site. 

A smartphone can be likened to a time machine when augmented reality is used. Archeologists can walk through dig sites, exploring different periods of time reconstructed, allowing movement not only through space but also through time. Archeology with augmented reality can serve as a window into another world. Imagine visiting Notre Dame, pointing your smartphone toward the burned structure and seeing the majestic building, but as it was years ago. You could even walk toward and around the structure, and so long as you’re peering through the device. It’s as if you were walking through the past. Seeing a reconstruction of a lost building that can be physically explored when you are standing in the current-day location can feel pretty close to a time machine. 


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