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Step 4 - Reconstruction Layers

 
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  1. The next aspect of ArcSeer that needs to be explained is its support for past reconstructions. You may have noticed that there is a panel on the left-hand side entitled <Reconstructions>. It is set by default to display a view of how the site is today. This, in itself, is a type of reconstruction or representation because a number of subjective choices were made by the designer during the modelling phase. Two other reconstructions labelled <Rutkowski phase I> and <Rutkowski phase II> have been included in the panel. Click the <Rutkowski phase I> checkbox to activate it within the environment.

An interpretation of Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase I

An interpretation of Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase I
  1. The view changes as shown in the screenshot above. The extant remains are replaced by a new and slightly alien looking addition to the environment. This new feature is a representation of Rutkowski and Nowicki’s reconstruction of Petsofa’s first phase of use which ran from MMI to the end of MMII. The design for this phase is dominated by a number of terraces, both natural and artificial which cover an area of up to 2,500m². The uppermost terrace is situated near the top of the peak and roughly equates to the extant remains seen in the previous view. Within this main terrace area are contained a number of rock clefts that have provided concentrations of figurine deposits which have led scholars to speculate that these rocks had some symbolic value for the Minoans. It is believed that, during this phase, the site was used by shepherds who were part of a transhumance culture that is speculated to have played a large role in early Minoan society. Now climb on up the slope and enter the main terrace area from the north side where it is believed the original access point would have been located.

A second perspective of Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase I

A second perspective of Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase I
The screenshot above shows a view of Rutkowski and Nowicki’s phase I from the north. You can see a bonfire in the foreground which is an element that has been a part of the peak sanctuary model since Myres’ 1903 publication. Behind and to the right of the bonfire is a flat rectangular slab of rock. It represents the site altar.
  1. Now let us have a look at the Rutkowski/Nowicki reconstruction of the second phase of Petsofa’s use in the MMIII-LMI period.

    Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase II

Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase II

The screenshot above shows a view from below and you are immediately struck by the difference between it and the Phase I reconstruction. As ArcSeer allows you to walk around and through the reconstruction, the central building’s monumentality is staggering and this is an aspect that does not come across as strongly in the original Rutkowski/Nowicki drawing. You are struck by the overall tripartite architectural design as well as the dominant use of the horns of consecration motif on the roofs.

  1. A key aspect of the ArcSeer reconstructions is that they allow you to appreciate their subject matter from different perspectives. For example, you can instruct your avatar to clamber down on to the Palaikastro plain and then have him observe Petsofa from the perspective of Minoan Palaikastro or perhaps from the perspective of a ship entering the bay as is shown below. Hence ArcSeer can become a tool for exploring the role of a particular site within the context of its greater environment. This kind of analysis is difficult to achieve when using the traditional forms of archaeological representation.

A view of Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase II from the middle of the bay

A view of Rutkowski and Nowicki's reconstruction of Petsofa Phase II from the middle of the bay

 

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