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Optimizing archaeological research through virtual reality: the application created for the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento by the Sant'Anna School in collaboration with the Scuola Normale presented at the conference “Archaeology of Worship”

The immersive reality application will allow virtual storage of data collected during the excavation process and post-excavation analysis, even after covering the “excavation essay”

Publication date: 24.04.2024
fotogrammetria sul campo
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An application developed by the Sant'Anna School, in collaboration with the Scuola Normale Superiore, that uses virtual reality to provide a high-tech working tool for excavation professionals working at the Valley of the Temples archaeological site in Agrigento. The application is at the center of a talk scheduled as part of the conference the “Archeologia del culto: Forme e spazi del sacro ad Akragas”, ("Archaeology of Worship: Shapes and Spaces of the Sacred in Akragas"), organized for Monday, April 29, by the Scuola Normale Superiore, the Valley of the Temples Park in Agrigento and the Laboratory of the History of Archaeology Epigraphy Tradition of Antiquity.

The application developed by Eleonora Lanfranco, a Research Fellow, and designed by Researcher Marcello Carrozzino, under the supervision of Massimo Bergamasco, Full Professor of applied machine mechanics and Director of the Institute of Mechanical Intelligence at the Sant'Anna School, aims to simplify the archiving of information related to excavations and offer scholars an immersive tool for the post-excavation analysis phase.

For its realization, extensive photogrammetry work was conducted in the field by taking about 200 photos per day for each statigraphic unit related to each open essay, which were then processed for integration into the application. Thanks to photogrammetry, it was thus possible to monitor in real time, day by day, the progress of individual excavations, coordinated by Massimo Bergamasco, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Scuola Normale Superiore. The application is particularly useful because archaeologists after completing the excavation of an essay, which takes about a month of work, must cover the site again to make it accessible to tourists. However, with the developed application, practitioners can virtually store the data collected during the excavation process and post-excavation analysis, even once the essay has been covered. This will make data storage significantly easier, allowing archaeologists to return to the essay, using a 3D viewer, and review each stratigraphic unit with an extremely realistic rendering.

Marcello Carrozzino and Elenora Lanfranco present the application in the talk titled “Optimizing Archaeological Research through Virtual Reality” at the conference in the Sala Stemmi of the Caravan Building of the Scuola Normale Superiore, starting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 29.

To view the program and the conference poster at the following link:, where you can register to follow the event, even remotely.

On Cover: Eleonora Lanfranco during photogrammetry fieldwork.

In Gallery: some frames of the application.