Reconstructing Chavín de Huántar (Peru): Designing an Educational Tool for Art Historians

October 25th, 2001

Categories: Architecture, Education, Multimedia, Visualization


Gotsis, M.


This paper discusses the process of reconstructing a unique and remote site such as Chavín de Huántar in Peru, focusing on the choices made in designing the user interface and the difficulty of translating archaeological / anthropological information into a visual and information-rich tool for the teaching of art history. Peru contains hundreds of sites that can be easily ignored due to the lack of visual resources that can help evaluate a site and culture.

This paper explains why it is difficult to evaluate Chavín de Huántar and how a virtual reconstruction was done in order to provide a useful and user-friendly resource for art historians and their students in order to help appreciate the importance of this site and rescue it from being forgotten. The project is compared to an existing reconstruction done by Stanford University using Zoom by Live Picture and contrasted with the technology used for this reconstruction (VRML, HTML, JavaScript, and Metastream), which delivers a richer visual guide and more immersive experience. The paper discusses plans to create a fully immersive reconstruction of Chavín de Huántar using CAVE™ technology, Iris Performer and OpenWorlds and the issues concerning the maintenance of two tools for teaching: one that is more portable and one that is more immersive.





Gotsis, M., Reconstructing Chavín de Huántar (Peru): Designing an Educational Tool for Art Historians, 7th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, University of California Berkley, October 25th, 2001.