Research Uncovered: Alistair Paterson on Visualizing Australian Rock Art and Archaeological Heritage

alistair paterson

The use of data capture and visualisation technologies has grown dramatically, embracing the needs of researchers, stakeholder communities, cultural resource managers, tourists and the general public. This paper previews the types of techniques being used by Australian archaeologists and collaborators in a range of study areas. The digital acquisition and visualisation of archaeological sites using photographic techniques (hardware and software), 3D reconstruction, laser scanning and other methods, along with novel methods for presentation provide us with opportunities not available even 5 years ago. The challenge for researchers is to maintain the theoretical impetus in the face of a plethora of new technologies and opportunities. Methods to enhance recording and to facilitate research methodologies are explored and the potentials for cultural resource managers and stakeholder communities to manage their heritage (e.g. with tourists in interpretive displays, websites and other virtual media) are highlighted.

Professor Alistair Paterson is an archaeologist at the University of Western Australia where he has been Head of the School of Social Sciences (2013-15) and Archaeology Discipline Chair (2010-2012). He is currently a visiting researcher at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford. His research and teaching covers culture contact, historical archaeology in maritime and terrestrial settings, European colonization, historical rock art, digital scholarship, and archaeological and historical methodology. Much of his work is located in Western Australia and the Indian Ocean exploring the uses of coast and offshore islands in colonial and pre-colonial settings, and early colonial settlements across the state (in collaboration with the Western Australian Museum, iVec@UWA).

If you have a University or Bodleian Reader’s card, you can get to the Centre for Digital Scholarship through the Mackerras Reading Room on the first floor of the Weston Library, around the gallery. If you do not have access to the Weston Library you are more than welcome to attend the talk: please contact Pip Willcox before the event (


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