Unaahil B'aak presented at Society of American Archaeology

“Unaahil B'aak: A Look at the Ancient Maya City of Palenque through the Digital Lens” was presented by Michael Carrasco and Anne Loyer at the SAA conference in May. The project was noted for its use of design and color to distinguish between existing artifacts and reconstructed interpretations of this ancient site.

View the site: Unaahil Baak: the Temples of Palenque

From the abstract:
“Unaahil B'aak, like these other projects, unites a variety of assets and information that are difficult to impossible to merge in print media. These assets include QTVR, VR, photographs, interactive maps and fly-through movies. The purpose of integrating this material is to allow visitors the opportunity to experience Palenque in a more interactive, complex and engaging way than is normally afforded by slides or books. Even film or video, which conveys space well, poses sequential and temporal limitations that prevent visitors from moving through space at their own pace, inspecting specific artistic features, or in the case of the Maya reading hieroglyphic texts. Our feeling was that the intertextuality and nonlinear nature of web-based narratives, in combination with digital assets permit the kind of exploration, or play, really, that one might actually do both physically and intellectually if they were at the site itself, except with the advantage that various kinds of information are immediately available in virtual reality that are obviously not present in reality. Thus, while the experience of being physically there is not as great while sitting in front of the screen, the possibility for intellectual exploration is actually greater in a properly contextualized and augmented virtual reality then at the actual site.”