Students digitally document cultural treasures in Paros, Greece

September 16, 2016

This summer, eight students and two faculty members—Albert William and Thomas Lewis—from the IU School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) at IUPUI traveled to the Greek Isles for a unique study abroad experience.



To preserve and celebrate Greece’s culture and history, SOIC students in the Media Arts and Science (MAS) program produced digital media projects such as documentary videos, 3-D animations, illustrative graphics, and photography.

The study abroad program focuses on the service-learning course Documenting Historical Cultural Artifacts and Traditions in Paros, Greece—offered in Summer Session I.

Paros is part of the Cyclades island group in the Aegean Sea, one hundred miles south of Athens. Inhabited since 3200 B.C., Paros is one of the Cyclades’ most picturesque islands, known for exquisite beaches, traditional villages, hilly countryside, vineyards, and incredible food. Today, the island is one of Greece’s most popular destinations for international visitors.

Students created videos about two unique archeological sites in the main town of Parikia: The Kastro of Parikia and The Ancient Cemetery: Parian Burial Traditions.

The Kastro of Parikia

The Ancient Cemetery: Parian Burial Traditions

Students also digitally re-created a significant archeological site on the nearby island of Despotiko, working with the head archeologist and site architect. They created and textured a 3-D model to give life to the ongoing archeological dig. The model will be visible using virtual reality tools and has been rendered as a 3-D movie.

In the classroom, students met daily to discuss project updates and production techniques for documenting cultural artifacts and historical sites. Immersion in the local daily life of Parikia, where the group was housed in a small villa, was interspersed with field trips to archeological sites and museums—and a sea-kayaking trip.

“One day we were strangers, classmates—now we can call each other friends,” said SOIC student Tiffani Cornett. “We’ve spent a lot of time together. And we’ve come together as groups to create great projects,” she said.

The class will return to Paros for Summer Session I in 2017. To learn more and to view more student work, check out the Study Abroad in Greece program. Applications are being accepted through the Study Abroad Office until January 20, 2017.

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic