By Kim Eaton
Technology for the sake of technology is fairly useless. But, when it can be used to help solve problems or open the door to unanswered questions, the possibilities are endless.
“People are always coming up with new questions, and every time you come up with a new question, you have to find a way to answer it,” says Matt Gage, director of The University of Alabama’s Office of Archaeological Research. “But, getting to that answer may require coming up with a whole new way of looking at something.” READ MORE
It’s interesting to think about how much technology is used to look back in time, so to speak. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that it’s possible to see back millions of years in space, but on a more earthbound level, technology is able to make even ancient history clearer and more tangible than ever before. 3D technology, in particular, allows us to restore ancient objects and even rebuild things that no longer exist.
3D printing and scanning are just part of the arsenal of technology used by the University of Alabama’s Office of Archaeological Research (OAR) to bring the past into the present. We’ve written about archaeologists who have used 3D scanning and printing to reproduce and study fossils and ancient artifacts, but researchers at OAR have been using 3D modeling to reconstruct entire towns. Jeremiah Stager, a cultural resources assistant at OAR, was able to virtually rebuild an entire Alabama town as it existed in the early 20th century. READ MORE
Members of the University of Alabama’s Office of Archaeological Research are in the middle of a project to rehabilitate a collection of tens of thousands of artifacts first gathered in Alabama during the 1930s and 1940s.
The work began in February. It’s a collaborative effort between the Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns the collection, and the university, which is curating it and creating a comprehensive database for the government-owned power company. READ MORE