One of the most important aspects of the Sustainable Archaeology Animation Unit is our commitment to accuracy and completeness when virtually reconstructing archaeological sites and artifacts. It’s our goal to re-create the Lawson Site, a prehistoric Neutral Iroquoian village, using as much archaeological data as possible from past and recent excavations, topographic maps, artifact collections, and archaeological publications describing the site as well as the Neutral Iroquoian way of life.
Over time a number of archaeological plans, maps, and elevations have been published documenting surviving fragments of buildings, hearths, artifacts, palisades, earthworks, and storage pits. We’ll use this data to reconstruct the prehistoric village as accurately as possible. Since the site is currently under excavation and only 25% of the village has been completely uncovered to this day, it is not possible to definitively answer all of our questions about the site and the original appearance and organization of the village during its occupation; however, we do have enough data to create a reliable reconstruction of what the Lawson site may have looked like in the past.
Computer modeling and rendering software have the potential to revolutionize the study of archaeological sites by integrating collected archaeological data into dimensionally accurate computer models. Rendered images of the reconstructed Lawson Site will allow the public, students, and researchers alike to see and explore everything that is known about the site without having to access and decipher years of site excavation notes and archaeological drawings. For these reasons, it is vital that we maintain accuracy in all of our reconstructions and provide the public and other researchers with reliable visualizations of the prehistory of Southwestern Ontario.