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To be able to walk through a cave inhabited over 500,000 years ago, visualize the remains of human occupation and then go out into the surrounding valley to observe the flora and fauna of that era: that's the dream of archaeologists at the Tautavel site in the Pyrénées-Orientales region of France.

Today, this dream is almost a reality with the Schopper project, supported by the French National Research Agency. Five French partners - three laboratories (CERP-HNHP, CEROS and LIX) and two companies (Craft.AI and Immersion Tools) - are working together to create innovative technological solutions for archaeological research.

One of the results of this project is a technology that generates landscapes of the Tautavel valley, frequented by prehistoric man during contrasting climatic periods (glacial and interglacial) between 600,000 and 90,000 years ago.

The results of an ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) project using artificial intelligence and virtual reality to create prehistoric simulations for the Tautavel site. When private companies work hand in hand with public research labs. A real treat for me!

Bernard Quinio, Director of the Continuing Education Department at Université Paris Nanterre - Vrailexia (Erasmus+) project manager for Ceros / UPN)

Yes! Working on this project for 4 years has been an immense pleasure as R&D manager for the teams behind easysuite360 😉. Firstly, because of the discovery of new worlds and new professions, and also because we had an incredible playground to validate, through rigorous protocols, the fact that virtual reality, in immersion, is a real plus and leads to a rethinking of the relationship between the real and digital worlds. Imagine wandering through the Tautavel cave, amidst 450,000 archaeological objects, accessing their files on a 1:1 scale, filtering the elements of the database according to your own criteria, visually, in 2 clicks (and in immersion!), instead of reading the information in an Excel table derived from an SQL query.

Link to The Conversation article summarizing the project

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Photo Credit: Philippe C. Immersion Tools