Digital Salvage Archaeology at Seyitömer Höyük
Access 3D Lab director Laura Harrison is using digital tools to enhance the research potential of important but inaccessible archaeological datasets in western Anatolia (modern day Turkey). The research focuses on Seyitömer Höyük, one of the best-preserved examples of early urbanism in the region, which often garners comparisons to Troy and other significant sites from Early Bronze Age.
Seyitömer Höyük is also unique because it is located within an active coal mine, and lies atop a valuable 12 million ton deposit of coal. From 2006 through 2014, a coal company funded the excavation of the archaeological site with a team of 300 workers for six months per year. This massive salvage excavation proceeded rapidly, to enable the extraction of the valuable coal deposit below. As a result, the excavation effort outpaced analytical and interpretive work at this important site.
To address this issue, Access 3D Lab digitally reconstructed important archaeological contexts in situ with digital photogrammetry in Reality Capture, and created a 3D digital reconstruction of the entire Early Bronze Age settlement, based directly on archaeological observations, in 3D Studio Max. These products are part of an ongoing effort to mobilize this salvage archaeology dataset for the research community and to create visualizations for public consumption.