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Discovery
Digitizing the Past to Protect and Preserve History

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Photo of the dig site at Chersonesos, a Greek colony on the Crimean peninsula.

At the dig site at Chersonesos, technological innovations are making it easier to understand and reconstruct the past.

Credit: Institute of Classical Archaeology, The University of Texas at Austin


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When Adam Rabinowitz was 15 years old, his aunt, an archaeologist, invited him to join her on a dig in Sicily. More than two decades later, Rabinowitz, now the assistant director at the Institute of Classical Archaeology at The University of Texas at Austin, is still travelling around the world getting dirt under his nails. And though much remains the same about archaeology since he first picked up a trowel, a lot has changed.

Credit: Sean Cunningham, Texas Advanced Computing Center, The University of Texas at Austin

 

Photo of the team excavating a Byzantine grave at Chersonesos.

Archaeology is inherently destructive. The team's excavation of this Byzantine grave removes the physical relationships between soil, objects and human remains--but those relationships can be preserved for future scholars through digital technologies.

Credit: Institute of Classical Archaeology, The University of Texas at Austin


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Photo of a medieval padlock found at Chersonesos.

A medieval padlock found at Chersonesos. The preservation of contextual data allows Rabinowitz and future archaeologists to place this object in a historical narrative.

Credit: Institute of Classical Archaeology, The University of Texas at Austin


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Photo of a 3-D models of cuts, structures and bedrock in a Byzantine courtyard at Chersonesos.

A 3-D model of cuts and structures at the level of the bedrock in the courtyard of the Byzantine residential block uncovered during the excavation of Chersonesos. The model was created from digital photos.

Credit: Institute of Classical Archaeology, The University of Texas at Austin


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