This paper introduces the Laconia Acropolis Virtual Archaeology project (LAVA), a co-operative archaeological learning environment that has been developed to address the need for students to be able to engage with realistic archaeological excavation scenarios. The practice of fieldwork lies at the heart of archaeology yet poses particular problems for the learning of the subject. The opportunities for students to gain real-world fieldwork experience are limited. Even when available the roles that students can play, and responsibilities that they can take, are constrained. This paper describes the motivation for, and design of a system that helps students collaborate in exploring virtual archaeological excavations and facilitates them in constructing an improved understanding of the subject. We make use of computer games methodologies to provide an engaging system. We deploy a range of technologies to bring alive resources derived from real archaeological excavation. We provide an infrastructure which supports a group-based exploratory approach and we also integrate 3D gaming technology with a servicebased learning environment to provide anytime-anywhere access and thereby support self paced learning. It is not an aim of this project to replace real-world fieldwork practice; rather our aim is to both compliment and enhance that practice.
|Title of host publication
|IADIS International Conference WWW/Internet
|Place of Publication
|Published - 1 Oct 2006