Computer Animation Not Just for Video Games—AIA Awards New Grant to Help Save Cultural Heritag

2 December 2009

Project Will Use Technology to Recreate a Five-Thousand-Year-Old Chalcolithic Roundhouse in Cyprus

BOSTON -- The Kissonerga archaeological sites in Cyprus will benefit from a Site Preservation Grant from the Archaeological Institute of America. The grant will finance the use of 3-D and computer animation technologies to complement the reconstruction of a five-thousand-year-old Chalcolithic roundhouse. AIA funds will support the filming of the physical reconstruction of the building and the creation of color 3-D computer imagery of the artifacts found in the house to give visitors a vibrant sense of the use of the building.

The reconstruction is part of a larger project led by Dr. Lindy Crewe of the University of Manchester to illuminate human experience in a single locality through time by investigating the nearly continuous occupation of Kissonerga Village from 10,000 years ago to the present. AIA President, Dr. C. Brian Rose, says, “This project is very exciting because it not only preserves the actual ruins, but allows visitors to immerse themselves more fully in prehistoric Cyprus using virtual reality so they can experience what life would have been like at that time.”

Prehistoric archaeological sites in Cyprus are frequently left out of the island’s narrative, and their low visibility makes them difficult to preserve given the rapid development of the island as a tourist destination. By using the latest 3-D and animation technologies to create tangible educational tools at Kissonerga, the project hopes to instill a greater appreciation for all periods of Cyprus’s occupation in both the local population and visitors. Dr. Paul Rissman, AIA Site Preservation Committee Chair notes, “Technology is playing a much more important role—not only preserving our heritage—but in providing new ways for people to experience archaeological sites and learn about the past first-hand.”

About AIA Site Preservation Program and Grants

The AIA Site Preservation Program emphasizes education, outreach, and best practices in archaeology, and is currently supporting preservation projects in Assos, Turkey, and Easter Island. In addition to grants, the AIA Site Preservation Program includes advocacy to help stop the unnecessary destruction of archeological sites, U.S. Troop education, outreach activities for children, online resources for the public and professionals, workshops, and awards for best practices. All aspects of the program, including the awarding of grants, are made possible through donations to the AIA. To learn more, please visit

About Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

Founded in 1879, The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America's oldest and largest archaeological organization. Today, the AIA has nearly 200,000 members belonging to 107 local societies in the United States, Canada and overseas. The organization promotes public interest in the cultures and civilizations of the past, supports archaeological research, fosters the sound professional practice of archaeology, and advocates for the preservation of the world's archaeological heritage. The organization hosts archaeological fairs, lectures and other events throughout North America; publishes Archaeology magazine and the American Journal of Archaeology; awards fellowships and honors; and leads global archaeological travel excursions.

For more information please contact:

Ben Thomas, AIA Director of Programs—[email protected] 617-353-8708

Meredith Anderson, AIA Site Preservation Program Coordinator—[email protected] 617-358-6098