Technology is changing the way people interact with each other and the world. Digital techniques are also opening up new avenues for museums and historical sites: advanced mapping methods, augmented reality, interactive gaming, social media, and 3-D laser scanning and modeling are just some of the approaches that are transforming how the past is examined, presented, and explored. The Jamestown Rediscovery team has been actively excavating the site of James Fort, the first successful English settlement in North America, for more than twenty years. The archaeological findings are casting doubt on many conventional interpretations of Jamestown’s history and providing new insights into the site’s settlement, as well as the interactions between Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans, who first came together beginning in the early 17th century. New technologies are also helping to revolutionize how the archaeological data are being analyzed, interpreted, and presented. This talk will examine how digital heritage and 3-D visualization approaches are helping to reshape our understanding of Jamestown, as well as some of the challenges historical sites face in a digital 21st century.
Lisa Fischer is the Director of the Center for Digital Initiatives at Jamestown Rediscovery.