Heather Richards-Rissetto

Assistant Professor Anthropology

Heather Richards-Rissetto is an archaeologist specializing in the ancient Maya of Central America. She is Assistant Professor in Anthropology and a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. She uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and 3D visualization to investigate how the accessibility and visibility of architecture communicated information and structured social experience in past societies. Her current interests involve using gesture-based and immersive technologies such as Microsoft Kinect, Leap Motion, and Oculus Rift for digital humanities research. Since 2005, she has been working at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Copan, Honduras. Her interests also include using digital technology to enrich archaeological education and promote cultural heritage. She has also been involved in fieldwork at archaeological sites in Belize, Peru, Spain, and the U.S. Southwest. Her publications include articles on digital heritage, archaeological GIS, 3D WebGIS, and ancient landscape experience.

Heather is the Director of the MayaCityBuilder Project that is creating a procedural modeling kit and repository that stores a digital lexicon of 2D and 3D data for ancient Maya architecture and plants to allow users to create 3D visualizations in georeferenced cityscapes. She is also the GIS Director of the MayaArch3D Project— an international, interdisciplinary project founded to explore the possibilities of 3D digital tools and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for research on ancient Maya architecture and landscapes. The MayaArch3D Project has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, UNESCO, Gerta Henkel Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the German Ministry of Education and Research.

Previously, she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the HUMlab at Umeå University in Sweden and was a National Science Foundation (NSF) International Postdoctoral Fellow at the 3D Optical Metrology Unit (3DOM) at the Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK) in Trento, Italy. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (2010). 

Curriculum Vitae

Recent Publications:

Richards-Rissetto, H., S. Sanford-Long, and J. Kirby-Miller. 2016. 3D Tool Evaluation and Workflow for an Ecological Approach to Visualizing Ancient Socio- Environmental Landscapes: A Case Study from Copan, Honduras. In Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology: Archaeology in the Age of Sensing. Springer International Publishing. Series: Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. M. Forte and S. Campana (editors). DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40658-9 

von Schwerin, J., H. Richards-Rissetto, F. Remondino, M. Grazia Spera, M. Auer, N. Billen, L. Loos, M. Reindel. 2016. Airborne LiDAR Acquisition, Post-Processing and Accuracy-Checking for a 3D WebGIS of Copan, Honduras. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports: Reports 5 (2016) 85-104.

Richards-Rissetto, H. and R. Plessing. 2015. Procedural modeling for ancient Maya cityscapes: Initial methodological challenges and solutions. Proceedings for Digital Heritage International Congress 2015, Granada, Spain, Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2015. 

Richards-Rissetto, H. and K. Landau. 2014.  Movement as a Means of Social Re(Production): Using GIS to Measure Social Integration in Urban Landscapes. Journal of Archaeological Science 41: 365-375.

von Schwerin, J. , H. Richards-Rissetto, F. Remondino, and G. Agugiaro. 2013. The MayaArch3D Project: A 3D WebGIS for Analyzing Ancient Maya Architecture and Landscapes at Copan, Honduras. Literary and Linguistic Computing 2013, doi: 10.1093/llc/fqt059. Oxford University Press.

Richards-Rissetto, H. 2013. From Mounds to Maps to Models: Visualizing Ancient Architecture across Landscapes. Proceedings of Digital Heritage International Congress,Marseille, France, Oct. 28-Nov.1, 2013.

Richards-Rissetto, H. , J. Robertsson, F. Remondino, G. Agugiaro, J. von Schwerin, and G. Galibri. 2013. Geospatial Virtual Heritage: An Interactive, Gesture-based 3D GIS to Engage the Public with Ancient Maya Archaeology. Proceedings of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Southampton, United Kingdom, March 26-29. 

Richards-Rissetto,H.,  J. Robertsson, F. Remondino, G. Agugiaro, J. von Schwerin, and G. Galibri. 2012. Kinect and 3D GIS in Archaeology. Proceedings of 18th Int. Virtual Systems and MultiMedia Conference, 2-5 Sept. 2012, Milan, Italy.

Richards-Rissetto, H. 2012. Studying Social Interaction at the Ancient Maya Site of Copán, Honduras: A Least Cost Approach to Configurational Analysis.  In Least Cost Analysis of Social Landscapes: Archaeological Case Studies editors Devin A. White and Sarah Surface-Evans, pp. 194-231. University of Utah Press: Salt Lake City.

W.H. Wills, F. Scott Worman, W. Dorshow, and H. Richards-Rissetto. 2012. Shabik’eschee Village in Chaco Canyon: Beyond the Archetype. American Antiquity 77(2): 326-350.

van der Elst, J., H. Richards-Rissetto, and J. Garcia. 2011. Creating Digital Heritage Content: Bridging Communities and Mediating Perspectives. In Digital Culture   and   E-Tourism: Technologies, Applications and Management Approaches, pp. 139-157, edited by M. Lytras, P.  Ordonez De Pablos E. Damiani, and L. Diaz. Information Science Reference (IGI Global Publishing): Hershey and New York.

Go to  academia.edu for additional papers. 

STUDENT PROJECTS:

Reflections on Summer Research with MayaCityBuilder- Stephanie Sterling

Digital Heritage Tools (Fall 2015)

Ancient Mesoamerica- Map Tours (Fall 2015)

Digital Heritage Tools (Fall 2014)


Courses Taught:

  • Digital Heritage Tools
  • Geospatial Approaches to Digital Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Ancient Mesoamerica
  • The Ancient Maya
  • GIS in Archaeology
  • Fundamentals of GIS
  • GIS and 3D Technologies for Archaeological Landscapes
  • Method and Theory in Archaeology