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Structural analysis: a tool for testing 3D computer reconstructions of Thule whalebone houses

Levy, Richard ; Dawson, Peter

In: Layers of Perception. Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Berlin, 2.-6. April, 2007 (Koll. Vor- u. Frühgesch. 10). A. Posluschny ; K. Lambers ; I. Herzog 2008, pp. 134-139

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Abstract

One criticism of computer modeling in archaeology is that the visual products suggest a higher degree of knowledge of the structure or site than the data warrant, and that they represent only one of several possible outcomes. This paper discusses the benefits of structural analysis as a means of testing 3D computer reconstructions based on limited archaeological data. Thule Inuit whalebone houses will be used as case studies for testing structural behavior. The Thule people are the cultural and biological ancestors of contemporary Inuit societies of the North American arctic. Thule culture developed in the Bering Strait region, and its presence in the Canadian Arctic was established via migration by AD 1300 (Mathiassen 1927; McCullough 1989). The use of whalebone as a construction material by Thule families, in part, represents an adaptation to life in driftwood-poor regions of the Arctic Archipelago (Mathiassen 1927). Structural analysis led us to consider the premise that certain bones, because of their lower strength as structural elements, must have been selected primarily for their ceremonial value in the design of these unique structures.

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2010 09:59
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Alte Geschichte, Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Archäologie
Subject (Propylaeum): Prehistoric Archaeology
Controlled Subjects: Archäologie, Informatik, Computerunterstütztes Verfahren, Computervisualistik, Haus, Eskimo
Subject (classification): History of the ancient world to ca. 499