19th century archaeological activities in western countries has led humanity to the great rediscovery of our past. However, in the process, numerous artifacts and findings were taken out of their countries of origin. Today, take ancient Mesopotamian textual objects as an example, over 90% of recorded works are located outside Iraq. Digitization of these archaeological findings through means of AR/VR and 3D reconstruction technologies not only facilitates the sharing of these materials in the academic circle but also provides opportunites of easy access for the general public, including people from where these objects were originally found. Sharing these artifacts through virtual technologies also avoids potential damage that can be caused during long distance travels.
This project aims to present a straightforward visualization of the displacements of the cuneiform tablets across the globe and also a country-wise breakdown of where the different categories of the cuneiform tablets have gone. The workflow of this project can be broken down as shown in the diagram above. It extracts data from CDLI database and works on them in two ways - one for the representation of the world displacement map of items; the other for the rendering of a Sankey diagram that tells the top ten current owners of these items and the respective composition of different types of these items in these countries.
Tools used in this project include Python scripting for reading and writing files, extracting and arranging data, converting data into KML files, Google API for procuring Geo coordinates of locations, Tableau, Grasshopper and Illustrator for visual editing, etc.