OsteoAR: An educational mobile augmented reality application for an archaeozoological bone atlas

S4: Poster session | Poster

Extended reality (XR) technologies gained popularity in Archaeology over the years by enabling the visualization of complex 3D geometry in interactive environments. One of the advantages of these technologies is that they can make visual Archeological data widely accessible. However, adapting XR in the educational context of Archaeology requires further research. In this preliminary study, the potential of these technologies will be explored in the field of Archaeozoology. Archaeozoologists study faunal remains recovered from archaeological sites to analyze past animal-human relationships. Conventionally students learn how to identify faunal remains by using bone atlases with 2D drawings and, if possible, physical reference collections. However, not every university has access to such collections. In addition, access to these collections is often restricted to a few people due to the limited space in the laboratories. For this reason, many students have little to no opportunity to work with reference collections and therefore rely on conventional 2D bone atlases. Visualizing 3D information from 2D images requires strong spatial skills which can vary among people depending on their previous education, gender, and hobbies. Thus, using only conventional atlases can make it difficult for students to transition from 2D to working with actual archaeological faunal remains. Currently, there are a few 3D bone collections that aim to improve the accessibility of reference collections. However, these libraries mostly made by universities from overseas do not apply to the faunal remains from Central Europe. Furthermore, on these online databases, the one-on-one scale visualization as well as the comparison of the 3D models with real-life objects is not possible. Additionally, these libraries don’t offer training modules specifically designed for educational purposes. Instead of online 3D model databases, MAR (Mobile Augmented Reality) could be used to address these issues. Unlike VR (Virtual Reality), MAR doesn’t require a headset and is therefore accessible for every smartphone user independent of their location. Hence, this study presents a prototype of OsteoAR, an educational bone atlas in MAR that will give students easy access to the reference collections and help them visualize and interact with these models.