Ancient Skies, Modern Tools: Charting the course of Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy in the Digital Age

Ancient Skies, Modern Tools: Charting the course of Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy in the Digital Age

3D reconstruction of the Sanctuary of Hera in Perachora, Greece

A dynamic workshop in which researchers trained in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Archaeology and Classics, Landscape Archaeology and Computer Science, converge to explore the digital frontiers in Cultural Astronomy. This collaborative event bridges the gap between traditional research and cutting-edge technology, focusing on the most recent advancements in 3D and VR reconstructions paired with key progress made during the STAR-AGESS project. 

The sessions over the two days will provide a comprehensive overview of the digital platforms and technology in the reconstruction of ancient environments (Stellarium and 3D reconstructions, Photogrammetry, VR). These sessions will delve into discussions highlighting key progress, limitations, and challenges faced across the spectrum of existing digital tools. They will determine new methodologies that contribute best to their evolution, in our quest to visualise and experience ancient environments. The aim of the workshop is to collaboratively identify strategies to propel existing digital tools forward and the most suitable methods for future archaeoastronomical research in relation to evolving technology. The interdisciplinary focus group comprises of Cultural Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy experts from diverse backgrounds, which will pinpoint areas for future work and collaboration, fostering an environment for moving existing research technologies forward. 

Pictures of participants checking the 3D models in VR

Dr. Boutsikas is an established scholar and with this fellowship aims to amplify her analytical toolkit with cutting-edge techniques on advanced 3D modelling and landscape analyses, while delving into current theoretical approaches on the cognitive formation of space and experience in ritual performance. This will be achieved through applied research on ancient Greek ritual practice collaborating and guided by Dr Hector Orengo at GIAP and also by Dr Schjødt’s team at the Department of the Study of Religion at Aarhus University (Denmark). Her project, STAR-AGESS aims to recreate immersive environments that incorporate ancient sky and astronomical simulations, horizons, detailed topography and architectural 3D models of the sanctuaries at Sounion, Aegina and Perachora in Greece.

Efrosyni Boutsikas is an MSCA fellow with the project “STAR-AGESS: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Ritual an Ancient Greek Experience of Sacred Spaces” Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, European Research Area (H2020-MSCA-IF-2020-101026674)

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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