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Official schedule of the CAA 2015 Siena Conference, held from March, 30th to April, 3rd in Siena, Italy.
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Tuesday, March 31 • 12:15 - 13:30
Keynote Talk - Maurizio Forte: “The Digital Mind: towards a new Framework for Neuro-Archaeology”

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The Digital Mind: towards a new Framework for Neuro-Archaeology

The digital revolution in archaeology has involved a very broad and massive use of different technologies at different scales and levels of accuracy with an exponential number of 3D applications. This has somehow generated a new digital positivism with an exaggerate emphasis on quantitative information rather than an adequate attention to the semantics of data, the cognitive impact, the meaning of the methodological approach, the effects of the simulation. For example, the inferential model used in virtual archaeology was mainly discussed in terms of evocative imagination of the past and models validation; on the contrary few attention was paid to the evaluation of the inferential method. The evolution of virtual archaeology in cyber-archaeology reflects the relevance/dynamics of interaction-simulation-performance vs the pre-determined static reconstructive process. The current problem is that we continue to classify, study and interpret 3D interactive models and virtual environments with the same methodological approach we used for 2D data, maps, metadata and so on. Is that sufficient and what’s the next step? The computer simulation creates feedback, affordances and interactions otherwise not achievable and this might be recognizable as “digital mind”, a combination of ancient (simulation) and modern mind (interaction). At this stage of research how can we study the digital mind? How can we study cognitive universals in the ancient mind? A new methodological approach is necessary and it should be at the intersection of the brain sciences, humanities, archaeology, anthropology, art, philosophy, aesthetics and visual studies. Cross-disciplinary contributions concerning embodiment and enaction in visual models, the interpretation of visual patterns and memes in cultural transmission should entangle a neuroscientific approach: we need to know what happens in the brain during a virtual simulation of the ancient world.

Bio – Maurizio Forte, PhD, is William and Sue Gross Professor of Classical Studies Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University. He is also the founder and director of the DIG@Lab (for a digital knowledge of the past) at Duke. His main research topics are: digital archaeology, classical archaeology and neuro-archaeology. He was professor of World Heritage at the University of California, Merced, (School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts) and Director of the Virtual Heritage Lab. He was Chief of Research at CNR (Italian National Research Council) of “Virtual Heritage: integrated digital technologies for knowledge and communication of cultural heritage through virtual reality systems”, Senior Scientist at CNR’s Institute for Technologies Applied to the Cultural Heritage (ITABC), and Professor of “Virtual Environments for Cultural Heritage” in the “Master of Science in Communication Technology-Enhanced Communication for Cultural Heritage”at the University of Lugano. He received his bachelor’s degree in Ancient History (archaeology), and a Diploma of specialization in Archaeology, from the University of Bologna, and his PhD in Archaeology from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He has coordinated archaeological fieldwork and research projects in Italy as well as Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Kazakhstan, Peru, China, Oman, India, Honduras, Turkey, USA and Mexico. Since 2010 he is director of the 3D-Digging project at Çatalhöyük.

Speakers
avatar for Maurizio Forte

Maurizio Forte

Professor, Duke University
My last research work is at the intersection of cyber-archaeology (meaning the digital simulation of the past), cognitive archaeology and neurosciences. More specifically, I am interested to investigate how the information is shaped, elaborated, stored and then culturally transmitted by different societies, with a focus on ancient civilizations and material culture.


Tuesday March 31, 2015 12:15 - 13:30
Auditorium University of Siena San Niccolò Building

Attendees (45)