November 18, 2013
by Konstantinos Papadopoulos
Recently, I signed a contract with Oxford University Press for an interdisciplinary volume entitled The Oxford Handbook of Light in Archaeology. This book, which will be edited by myself and Graeme Earl, is the only book to date dedicated to the concept of light in archaeology, since existing work in this area is either specifically related to forms of illumination, to isolated case studies or to light in literature and iconography.
This volume will undertake an interdisciplinary approach, by considering light in the context of humanities, architecture, engineering, computer science and the arts. As such, it will serve to combine alternative culturally specific analyses of light and an alternative approach to cultural studies. With increasing recognition by archaeologists and anthropologists that archaeological interpretations of space, form and behaviour are missing light as an essential element, this book breaks new ground by placing light at the heart of archaeological narratives from a broad region of the world and a broad sweep of time.
It will explore many dimensions of lighting and darkness in a wide range of dwellings, settlements, private and public spaces, monuments and religious buildings, as well as in various aspects of everyday life in the past and the present. The book will bring together diverse geographical and chronological studies, ranging from prehistory to the present and from Europe to America.
The book will be divided in three sections:
I. Light in Religion, Worship and Rituals;
II. Natural and Artificial Light in Dwellings, Public Spaces and Working Environments;
III. Theorising Method: Design, Capture and Simulation of Light for Sites, Structures, Museums and Artefacts.
It will contain 34 chapters by most of the leading scholars in the field (alphabetical order): Michael Ashley, Mikkel Bille, Eleni Bintsi, Eva Bosch, Efrosyni Boutsikas, Jean-Philippe Carrié, Eleftheria Deko, Matt Gatton, Dragoş Gheorghiou, Lucy Goodison, David Griffiths, Yannis Hamilakis, Jassim Happa, Tim Ingold, Malcolm Innes, Andrew Jones, Constantine M. Kapos, Eleni Kotoula, Eric Lapp, Nessa Leibhammer, Bob Miller, Ioannis Motsianos, Dorina Moullou, Holley Moyes, Axel E. Nielsen, Timothy R Pauketat, Paul Pettitt, Joshua Pollard, Iakovos Potamianos, Maria Sardi, Tim Flohr Sørensen, Frangiskos V. Topalis, Ruth M. Van Dyke, William Walker, Ian West, Chris Woolgar, Athanassia Zografou.
The volume is scheduled to be published in 2015
in the Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology series by
November 13, 2013
by Hembo Pagi
Gertrude is an old lady. About 600 years old. She is one of the wooden statues at the high altar in St. Nicholas’ Church, Tallinn. Gertrude is reviled to the public three times a year. Rest of the time she and other status are hidden behind the massive altar wings. Those altar wings are covered with medieval comic strip about life of St. Nicholas and St. Victor. Altar is by Hermen Rode, artist from Lübeck, finished around 1481 AD.
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November 9, 2013
by Graeme Earl
I am going to be speaking on December 4th 2013 at a symposium on 3d digital archaeology. The symposium, organised by Renato Perucchi and Elizabeth Colantoni at the University of Rochester, will discuss state-of-the-art multidisciplinary issues bridging the humanities and the applied sciences related to 3D modeling, visualization, and analysis including engineering evaluations of complex archaeological structures and data.
I will be talking under the broad title “Contemporary Themes in 3D Archaeological Computing”. The paper will focus on examples drawn from our many years of work at Portus. I will introduce the reconstruction workflow described at the time of our BBC documentary, and then consider ways in which the use of such digital approaches can inform and re-orientate efforts to communicate archaeological knowledge. Alongside the learning opportunities on site provided by the Portus Field School we are in the process of developing a Massive Open Online Course for Portus and interactive tours. We have also been exploring a range of approaches for conveying a sense of spatial engagement with Portus for learners and other virtual visitors. 3d and imaging tools, alongside mobile/ pervasive media and web science all have significant roles to play as we attempt to provide meaningful rather than superficial (3d) interactions.
If you would like to contribute online or to find out more about these issues follow my @GraemeEarl tweets from the symposium and also follow @PortusMOOC I will post a storify here and slideshare content.
October 30, 2013
by Graeme Earl
ACRG member, Gareth Beale, has been appointed as Research Fellow at the University of York. Gareth will be based at the Centre for Digital Heritage.
In his post as Research Fellow, Gareth will manage and share the coordination of a new international collaboration in Digital Heritage between the Universities of York, Aarhus, Leiden and Uppsala.
The Centre for Digital Heritage is a international research centre that brings together researchers to undertake interdisciplinary research in Digital Heritage, including data management, analysis and visualisation. The Centre is open to all researchers in these exciting fields, and to their external collaborators.
Gareth has recently submitted his PhD which looked at the use of computational reconstructions for the interpretation of Roman sculptural polychromy. He is the co-Director of the Basing House Project and the OuRTI: Recording British Memorials Project. Gareth’s interests lie in the use of imaging for the understanding of heritage and in technologies for public archaeology. He has worked closely with Winchester School of Art and other artists over the past two years to develop projects to increase the relevance of archaeology and art in the public domain as well as in the research sector.
You can read about Gareth’s move on the York website: http://www.york.ac.uk/archaeology/news-and-events/news/external/news2013/garethbeale/
The ACRG team are sad to see Gareth leave, but we anticipate some exciting project collaborations in the future. Gareth will be returning to the University of Southampton in 2014 to talk at the ACRG Seminar Series, so watch this blog for the updated timetable for 2013/14.
Multi-model inference, visual affordance, and point process analysis of a Bronze Age settlement on Leskernick Hill 10.12.2013
Information criterion is a robust and flexible inferential framework that offers an alternative to the traditional hypothesis testing approach adopted by most archaeologists. Rather than testing the empirical record against a pre-defined null model, information criteria provides a statistical tool to compare alternative models and suggest whether one of them is better than the others. This paper illustrates an example of this inferential framework by combining point-process modelling and visibility analysis to infer the reasons behind the Bronze Age settlement pattern of Leskernick Hill in Cornwall, UK. Results suggests that the settlement on Leskernick Hill was most likely the result of two separate decision-making processes, one to optimise the visibility of ritual monuments and important natural landmarks, and the other to optimise the visibility of nearby tin- extraction areas.
Joining the Dots with Pelagios 3 03.12.2013
The Pelagios 3 project is a community-driven initiative led by the University of Southampton that is annotating, linking and indexing place references in documents that use written or visual representation to describe geographic space prior to the European discovery of the Americas in 1492. They include ancient and medieval geographic descriptions (geographiae and chorographiae and itineraries) world maps (mappaemundi) and portolan charts.
The project has three primary objectives:
(i) to provide an index of toponyms attested, and the places they refer to (where known), in all available EGDs, accessible both as Linked Open Data and via the Pelagios Web Service;
(ii) to create a toolset that allows the scholarly community to enhance and refine the index incrementally, by annotating for themselves place references in further historical sources (written and visual) as and when they are digitized;
(iii) to develop an analysis workbench and embeddable Web tools that will enable researchers to bring together spatial documents in new and innovative ways.
This seminar will talk about the past, present and future directions of the project.
How to make 26.11.2013
How does material or information pass through the generations? As affect, as engram, as copy: mediated by the technologies of its reproduction.
The re-use of objects, of commodities within art has a rich lineage of traditions, assemblage, bricolage, ready-made, collage and recently circuit bending, the creative short-circuiting of electronic gadgets. This repurposing of obsolescence has also become a tool of Media Archaeology, a ‘methodology for lost ideas’. J. Parikka
In Beyond the Cybernetic Hypothesis (2012) Alexander Galloway reconstructed a genealogy not for the moving image but for the information model. In this lecture he highlighted Francios Willeme’s 19th Century Photosculpture apparatus as an early form of digital data capture. This was remade by Winchester School of Art, in order to better understand recently acquired 3D scanning and printing equipment.
This presentation will discuss the project explore its relationship to techne, the knowing how to make things and how this might have illuminated another aspect of theory, ‘that unlike the modern conception of theory which stresses the detached observation of a phenomenal event, (this) emphasises the act of witness and the ancient notion of theoria which contributes to the emergence of the event participated in.’ N. Davey
Romanisation, territory and landscape in Roman Baetica: an insight from archaeological spatial analysis and statistics 19.11.2013
This seminar will deal with alternative insights into the issue of Romanisation (understood as the cultural change between pre-Roman and Roman times) in the south of the Iberian peninsula. Traditional ways to deal with Romanisation have focused on archaeological items such as pottery, funerary traditions and architecture, and therefore have studied individual elements of the archaeological record as evidence for cultural change. However, it is possible to go beyond the individual item, and look for evidence of this cultural change on a smaller scale: the landscape. Landscape and territory can be seen as a means to understand the perception of past communities, in spite of the underlying belief that landscape does not change, which is wrong: people do change their surroundings all the time. Following this idea of landscape as evidence for cultural change, emphasis on the temporality of landscape and territory transformations may also provide insights into how the communities’ perceptions and underlying territorial models were modified through time according to new concerns and circumstances.
In this seminar, two pilot studies of the archaeology of Sierra Morena Occidental y Tierras de Antequera will be presented. These made use of archaeological spatial analysis and statistics as a means to analyse sites location during the Second Iron Age, Roman Republic and Early Empire. The aims of these pilot studies are to establish elements of continuity and change in the territorial organisation of both areas as a means to (1) understand the settlement pattern in each period and geographical area, (2) comprehend the underlying changes on past communities’ perception and organisation of the surrounding landscape, and (3) establish comparisons amongst the historical and archaeological development of these two geographically diverse areas. As a result, the combination of this landscape approach together with other traditional insights into the issue of Romanisation will improve our understanding of the cultural change between pre-Roman and Roman worlds in the south of the Iberian peninsula.
In this seminar we will describe and discuss an on-going research project into the interpretation and digital publication of previously published literary compositions from the ancient Near East in a machine-readable format. The aim of this research is to prepare Assyriological data for semantic technologies, knowledge representation and automated inference.
In the course of the seminar, an outline of the existing paradigms of Assyriological research is followed by an analysis of a case study example of a literary composition as published by the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL, http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/). The seminar will incorporate discussions and descriptions of the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM, http://www.cidoc-crm.org/) and Ontomedia (http://www.contextus.net/ontomedia), a domain-specific ontology designed to representation of fictional narrative.
Mac users unfortunately CANNOT watch the seminar live online, but will be able to see the recorded presentation when it is posted on the blog. Sorry for the inconvenience. You may also need to update your browser, or install MS silverlight to watch on PC.
From Trajan to Belisarius 11.11.2013
Recent research in the area of the Palazzo Imperiale at Portus