Virtual Archaeology

From Google Street View to digitised museum collections, here is a list of virtual archaeological sites and artefact collections related to Southeast Asia.

To cite this page: Tan, Noel Hidalgo (2021, updated 5 December 2022) Virtual Archaeology. Southeast Asian Archaeology. Available at: https://www.southeastasianarchaeology.com/virtual-archaeology/
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Overview
Overview
Recommended books and products
Recommended books and products
Virtual Archaeological Sites
Virtual Archaeological Sites
Digital museum collections and exhibitions
Digital museum collections and exhibitions
Virtual archaeology beyond Southeast Asia
Virtual archaeology beyond Southeast Asia
News Archive
News Archive
Online Lecture Library
A searchable collection on publicly-available lectures
Journals and Scholarly Research
Scholarly research and a list of Southeast Asian archaeology journals
Archaeological Projects in Southeast Asia
A list of past and present archaeological project websites
Job postings, scholarships and funding opportunities
Job postings, scholarships and funding opportunities

Overview

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3D scanning and virtual reconstructions are fast becoming popular in archaeology and conservation.  More expensive physical scanners using emitted lasers provide high scanning resolutions ideal for architectural and conservation applications. However 3D scanning from photogrammetry is another viable and lower-cost option: software such as Agisoft Metashape (formerly Photoscan) is a popular and I use an iOS app called Trnio that does quick photogrammetry scans using a mobile phone and cloud computing (check out my collection here).

This page was based on a post made during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020 – given that travel restrictions are in place globally for some time to come, virtual archaeology is one way to experience archaeological sites and artefacts from the comfort of your computer, and even your phone. The links below come from a number of different sources and allow you to enjoy archaeology virtually. I will update this list periodically, as more sites and collections become available. Let me know in the comments or via the contact page if there are other sites worth including in this list.

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Recommended Books and Products

Virtual archaeology and the related digital heritage fields are still relatively new in Southeast Asia, and the technology to create 3D scans of artifacts and sites evolves very quickly. Here is a selection of books and products relevant to virtual archaeology and digital cultural heritage, from guides on how to create 3D scans and virtual tours to advanced theories and applications  in the field. Some of these links are affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click on them and make a purchase. For other sources of reliable academic information, you should also check out the books page for latest releases and the occassional free book, as well as the journals page for the latest scientific research.

Last update on 2023-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Virtual Archaeological Sites

Thambula Pagoda by 3xvivr.com
Thambula Pagoda by 3xvivr.com
  • 3xvivr.com – Professional Virtual Reality Production company in Myanmar with a number of Myanmar temples in their showcase.
  • Angkor 360° – Virtual Angkor is a collaboration between archaeologists, historians and Virtual History specialists based in Australia, Cambodia and the United States.
  • Angkor on Google Street View – Explore the wonders of Angkor, Cambodia, where thousand-year-old temples lie hidden in the jungle, and ancient cities and roads trace a path to the lost kingdoms of the Khmer empire.
  • Ayutthaya Historical Park – Virtual tour site by the Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture, Thailand.
  • Borobudur on Project Jigsawby the Australian National University
  • Ban Tan Khun, Nakhon Si Thammarat – 3D virtual model by the Tourism Authority of Thailand
  • Borobudur on Google Street View – Take a virtual tour in this giant Javanese stupa
  • Dharmasraya – Vitual tour by the National Archaeology Center of Indonesia
  • Google Arts and Culture Open Heritage – A collection showcase of work by CyArk to digitally record, archive and share the world’s cultural heritage. The gallery has sites from Bagan, Ayutthaya and Hue
  • Gua Harimau Prehistoric Site – Vitual tour by the National Archaeology Center of Indonesia
  • Gunung Sewu – Vitual tour by the National Archaeology Center of Indonesia
  • Hoi An – 3D virtual model by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
Hue virtual heritage tour by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
Hue virtual heritage tour by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
Phanom Rung Virtual Historical Park by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand
Phanom Rung Virtual Historical Park by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand
Virtual Angkor
Virtual Angkor
  • Trowulan – Virtual tour by the National Archaeology Center of Indonesia
  • Virtual Angkor  – Virtual Angkor is a groundbreaking collaboration between Virtual History Specialists, Archaeologists and Historians designed to bring the Cambodian metropolis of Angkor to life. Built for the classroom, it has been created to take students into a 3D world and to use this simulation to ask questions about Angkor’s place in larger networks of trade and diplomacy, its experience with climate variability and the structure of power and kingship that underpinned the city.
  • Virtual Archaeology Tours – Portal by the Virtual tour by the National Archaeology Center of Indonesia
  • Virtual Museum – Education portal by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand.
  • Visualising Angkor – A selection of 3D Images, animations & 360 videos depicting daily life and cultural landscapes from Monash University’s ‘Visualising Angkor Project’
  • Wang Jao Mueng Pattalung, Pattalung – 3D virtual model by the Tourism Authority of Thailand
  • Wat Arun, Bangkok – Famous landmark in Bangkok. Virtual tour with commentary in Thai.
  • Wat Bang Kung, Samut Songkhram – 3D virtual model by the Tourism Authority of Thailand
  • Wat Nan Ta Ram, Phayao – 3D virtual model by the Tourism Authority of Thailand
  • Wat Phra Mahathat, Nakhon Si Thammarat – 3D virtual model by the Tourism Authority of Thailand
  • Wat Si Chum, Sukhothai – 3D virtual model by the Tourism Authority of Thailand
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Digital Object Collections and Virtual Museums

Beyond Southeast Asia

News Archive

The news reports indexed below usually link to external sites that were active at the time of posting; sometimes websites may be temporarily down or may have reorganised their underlying architecture or have even closed down – in these cases the links may not be available. Most of the news articles archived are in English, although when I am made aware of stories in this and other languages I try to index them.

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