V-KAP: Virtual Kurgan Archaeological Park

Virtual reality tour of the burial mounds (kurgans) of western Azerbaijan
Part of the Azeri-Italian Ganja Region Kurgan Archaeological Project (GaRKAP)

The project of the first virtual museum entirely devoted to the burial mounds (kurgan) of the Bronze Age in western Azerbaijan was conceived within the GaRKAP (Ganja Region Kurgan Archaeological Project), funded by the Center for Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies (CAMNES), the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), and the University of Catania. In fact, since its beginning in 2018, the joint Azerbaijani-Italian project, co-directed by Nicola Laneri (University of the Studies of Catania, CAMNES) and Bakhtiyar Jalilov (National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan), has cooperated with the institutions of the host country, and in particular with the Institute of Archaeology, Ethnography and Anthropology (ANAS), to share best practices and build capacity in the cultural sector.

The main attraction of the V-KAP is the virtual reality tour in real-time of the funerary chamber of a five-thousand-year-old kurgan (‘kurgan 8’), developed from the photogrammetric survey of a burial mound excavated by the GaRKAP team between 2018 and 2019 in the necropolis of Şadılı-Uzun Rama (Goranboy, western Azerbaijan). Within this virtual environment, several interactive points of interest, such as structural features, burials and grave goods, convey detailed information about the funerary habits of Early Bronze Age communities in English and Azerbaijani.



 
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The virtual tour of the kurgan, together with photos, 3D renderings and historical information about the other structures and materials excavated by the archaeologists, are immersed within a realistic and navigable map of the area obtained from satellite imagery for an all-round experience of the extraordinary heritage represented by this peculiar type of tomb in western Azerbaijan between the 4th and 1st millennium BCE.

The V-KAP promotes a new way of accessing the archaeological heritage of rural and marginal areas, which would otherwise be difficult to include in traditional tourism routes, especially in the circumstances of limited mobility due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, by adopting a user-friendly interface that recalls gaming, the V-KAP will favor a fun way of interacting with the archaeological landscape and finds, engaging users on an exciting journey into the world of the Kura-Araxes communities of the Kura River Valley.


 


 
GaRKAP Archaeological Project
For further information on the ongoing archaeological project follow the link below

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