AccScience Publishing / JCAU / Volume 6 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/jcau.1735
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Digital twin applications in an archaeological site: A virtual reconstruction of the Pishan site, Zhejiang, China

Wanqin Liu1* Man Lu1* Yuqin Chen1 Kaikai Yan2
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1 College of Civil and Transportation Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
2 Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism 2024, 6(1), 1735
Submitted: 31 August 2023 | Accepted: 1 November 2023 | Published: 19 February 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

A digital twin is a virtual counterpart of a physical object or system based on precise data collection. Although digital twin applications are gaining traction in the virtual reconstruction of built heritage, their relevance in archaeological sites remains limited, especially for those with only foundations. The Pishan (毘山) site in Huzhou, featuring the remains of a high-platform building and a large stilt-style architecture, represents the largest settlement site from the late Shang (商, ca. 1600 – 1046 BCE) and early Western Zhou (西周, 1046 – 771 BCE) dynasties in Zhejiang Province, China. At present, confronting contradictions among preservation, restoration, and reuse as a heritage park, the site leverages digital twin technologies to address two concerns: (i) reconstructing a 3D scene for further restoration and related studies and (ii) integrating multimedia to enhance visitors’ experiences and dissemination. Photogrammetry, unmanned aerial vehicle, and a mirrorless camera are employed to collect sky and ground dual graphic data and reconstruct the 3D model of the loess terrace. A panoramic roaming environment is created through panoramic photography. Geographic information system is integrated to enable visual analysis and information management while building information modeling facilitates the integration of parametric modeling and point cloud, aiding virtual restoration research. In conclusion, a workflow entitled “Virtual Reconstruction – Management and Analysis – Restoration – Exhibition” is proposed, promising in-depth exploration in further studies.

Digital twin
Virtual reconstruction
Panoramic photography
Archaeological site

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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism, Electronic ISSN: 2717-5626 Published by AccScience Publishing