Nowadays, the use of computer aided visualization applied to the field of archaeological heritage pictures an irregular overall situation, full of ups and downs. The significant increase of cultural tourism, as well as the technological progress carried out during the last 15 years have encouraged the development of large amounts of projects aimed to research, preserve and revalue different elements of the archaeological heritage by means of computer aided visualization. These projects have revealed weaknesses but they have also enlightened the intrinsic and amazing possibilities of computer aided visualization.
At this moment, it has become necessary to start a theoretical discussion with practical orientation aimed to allow h
eritage managers to make the most of the positive chances that new technologies can offer, avoiding the least desirable aspects, though. The purpose, in the end, consists of establishing basic regulating principles for this new discipline.
The Spanish Society of Virtual Archaeology SEAV has set up the International Forum of Virtual Archaeology, an international forum of experts intended to establish the theoretical foundation of the future international Virtual Archaeology.
The working team of the International Forum of Virtual Archaeology conceives the following purposes:
– LEAD the transnational creation of the International Principles of Virtual Archaeology and Virtual Archaeology International Charter, called “Carta de Sevilla” (The Sevilla Charter)
– RATIFY the Principles of Virtual Archaeology at the Plenary Assembly of the 4th International Meeting on Archaeology and Graphic Informatics, Heritage and Innovation ARQUEOLÓGICA 2.0 which will take place in Sevilla, June 2012.
– ENCOURAGE open and permanent cooperation between the Sevilla and London Charter.
– COORDINATE supporting actions and the spread of Virtual Archaeology together with major international entities.
– PROMOTE transnational discussion about the theoretical foundation of VA.
– CREATE an international prestigious specific publication line.
– ENSURE the spread and proper performance of the Sevilla Charter principles.
– CONFIRM Virtual Archaeology as an independent and recognized field of research.
In Sevilla, June 2009, at the 1st International Meeting on Graphic Archaeology and Informatics, Heritage and Innovation ARQUEOLÓGICA 2.0, several major purposes were pointed out. Among the most significant aims was to have feedback from the experts of this discipline in order to seek for an opportunity to create an international charter which should apply “the London Charter” especifically to Virtual Archaeology.
This was the purpose of the lecture session called “Reflections about the London Charter”, where three of its signers, Richard Beacham from King’s Visualisation Lab. King’s College (London), Sorin Hermon from Digital Cultural Heritage and Archaeological Sciences of Cyprus and Juan A. Barceló from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, joined SEAV’s initiative in order to create a new document, counting on wide international agreement, and linked to ARQUEOLÓGICA 2.0.
After such session, the Plenary Assembly called “Foundations of Virtual Archaeology” took place. Thirty well-known experts and researchers of this field of knowledge took part at it, and they claimed it was highly necessary to define, shape and properly ground Virtual Archaeology, which has not been yet set up in spite of its success and use worldwide. The Plenary Assembly meant the first meeting of the International Forum, which is handled by a large number of international well-known experts.