At the computer's edge: The value of virtual constructions to the interpretation of cultural heritage

Costas Papadopoulos, Efi Kefalaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The title of this paper is an adaptation of Ian Hodder’s notion that interpretation starts ‘at the trowel’s edge’ (1997), as excavations should be active, reflexive and multivocal practices, during which interpretation takes place as an inextricable part of our research. The process of interpretation is a complicated issue. It has engrossed most practitioners, and is closely related to the conceptualisation of the past as reflecting contemporary social and cultural experiences through the scrutiny of cultural heritage remains. Archaeological remains are under appreciated, as they can be accessed only by specialised audiences, and any finds are presented by means of conventional illustrations and comprehensive list of artefacts. Even the most common recording method in archaeology, i.e. fieldnotes, and the subsequent site reports, have been criticised (Hodder 1989) for their distance and impersonality, as well as their attempt to demonstrate objectivity by establishing rigorous classifications and complex terminologies. For that reason, different forms of media have been used in the interpretive processes, not only in scientific research, but also for providing varied levels of engagement with the archaeological datasets by the public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • digital heritage
  • digital archaeology
  • virtual constructions
  • digital museums
  • illumination analysis

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