Here is a riddle, what technology is used by an archaeologist working on a 19th century farmstead, an archaeologist recording a wreck in the Mediterranean, and an archaeologist explaining a site to a group of fourth graders? The Answer – Photography. This week the SHA Technology Committee is excited to present the fourth installment of Tech Week on the SHA blog. This tech week focuses on the many uses of photography in archaeology. All three bloggers discuss how they use photography to not only record the past, but how they use it to better understand it too.
The week begins with a post by Drew Fulton. Drew’s work as a conservation photographer and filmmaker took him to the Kızılburun wreck in the Aegean Sea. The logistics of photographing a wreck 150 feet below the surface of the ocean can be staggering, but Drew was able to capture the wreck in breathtaking 360 degree interactive panoramic images.
Following Drew’s post, Karen Price discusses the use of photography in preservation at Mount Vernon. Karen provides tips and tricks for both the amateur artifact photographer and the professional archaeologist, while making a call for all archaeologists to reconsider their approach to field and lab photography. She also provides some stunning examples of her work.
The final blogger for Tech week is Carrie Fulton. Carrie discusses her work on the ship that was discovered at the World Trade Center site in New York City. Typically, archaeologist painstakingly record each timber of a ship, but because of the nature of the site and the heavy push for construction, Carrie and the team of archaeologists working at the site, didn’t have time to record the ship in such detail. Utilizing a wide range of technology they created a detailed digital record that allowed them to create a 3d model of the ship that recorded the exact spatial layout of each timber.
Check out the #TechWeek Posts:
Going Interactive Underwater by Drew Fulton
Preservation Photography: Roles and Rules by Karen Price
Photographs into Models: Documenting the World Trade Center Ship by Carrie Fulton
It’s Tech Week on the Blog and the Technology Committee has something special in store. We have brought together three innovators in the field of online databases and data sharing, and have asked each author to answer a question:
Where do you see online databases and data sharing in five to ten years? What role do you see your respective organization playing in the larger field of archaeological data sharing and online databases? What major hurdles do you think stand in the way of wide scale acceptance and use of online databases in the archaeological community?
Mark Freeman from Stories Past
- Mark has worked with the National Park Service and a range of other groups to develop online databases for everything from data driven research databases to interactive education modules. Primarily working with museums and governmental agencies, Mark represents the cutting edge in online databases and data sharing.
Jillian Galle from the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS)
- DAACS, which is based in Monticello’s archaeology department, is one of the largest and most respected online databases for Historical Archaeology. Starting in 2000, when many archaeologists hadn’t even thought of online databases, DAACS was working hard to provide researchers information that would normally take years to get. Jillian has been the DAACS project manager for twelve years and is a pioneer in online databases and data sharing.
Adam Brin and Frank McManamon from the Center for Digital Antiquity
- When you think of online databases and data sharing, the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is probably one of the first things that come to mind. Adam and Frank work with a wide range of database professionals and archaeologists, and have created an extensive database for everything from digital documents to data sets to GIS files. tDAR represents a digital repository for archaeological data from all over the world. Perhaps the largest archaeological database, tDAR is constantly working to bring more information to researchers and to expand our understanding of the history and prehistory of the world.
Each author has provided us with an interesting view point from their own personal experience and organization. By looking at each post, it should be possible to get a good understanding of where data sharing has come from, where it is going, and what is on the horizon. We encourage you to read the posts and join in the conversation in the comment section or on Twitter, using the #SHAtechWk hashtag.
Click on the banner at the bottom of each post to return to this page! Thanks for reading, and enjoy Tech Week!