The QIAH has been conducting work at Freiha since 2009, revealing dense, complex occupation. This video is a time lapse of my good friend (and coworker) Ruth Hatfield excavating a series of intercutting firepits. Photo and Video Credit: Qatar Museums Authority – QMA.
We built a small structure over a fraction of the firepits to provide shade and then Ruth did her thing, digging all of the firepits under the shade in two hours. This time lapse demonstrates the principles of single context recording on a microscale–Ruth would dig and record the fills and cuts, all in stratigraphic sequence, showing which of the pits were dug last and working back in time. The last little bits were dug (and burned) first and truncated by later firepits. In some ways it is too bad that the camera was on a timer–you only see Ruth measuring or taking photos a couple of times. I’d like to do a time lapse that shows the entire recording process for each feature–but that might be just too tedious. Sadly I had to use iMovie to edit–my old Final Cut Pro license expired and the new FCP is appalling.
Incidentally, the font for the video is one of my favorites, Lavanderia, inspired by the writing in the windows of the San Francisco Mission: Download Lavanderia
Back in 2009 David Cohen and I made a video for the Afghanistan exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. This video was meant to accompany the mostly interpretation-free display of gold and human remains; we wanted to give faces to archaeologists and convey what it is that we do. The museum provided us a list of guiding questions and we filmed responses from UC Berkeley archaeologists. Anyway, I finally had a moment to upload some of the videos to Youtube, and here they are for your viewing/teaching pleasure.
The infamous …and I’m an archaeologist video.
What is the best thing about being an archaeologist?
What is the worst thing about being an archaeologist?
What do archaeologists do?
What are some common misconceptions about archaeology? (Show this to your friends and family who keep asking about dinosaurs and gold)
And my favorite: What type of artifacts do you find?
I was delighted to find this video of a time-lapse excavation performed by the Tromsø Museum of a turf and stone structure from the 1700s. What really makes this video is the graphic in the corner of where the camera is located and the overall plan of the structure, highlighting what is being excavated. It transforms what looks like a bunch of workers shuffling around rocks in the mud into something inteligible. This is the translation of the video description I got in Google Translate from the original Norwegian:
Time-lapse of the excavations on the structure of S5 in the period 9.6. -21.7.2010. The structure is constructed dwellings of turf and stone. The shape of the structure implies a dichotomy where one part may have been a timber construction and the other part a hut construction. On the inside of the thick sod walls were found neverlag in different levels (see eg.Context 102). Remains of buildings is mainly dated to the 1700s, but can extend down to 1600 – the number and up to 1800′s. Time-lapse footage shows the last part of the excavation, where the scroll. chimney, walls, entrances and some luck are being put excavated / removed. Towards the end of the grave none appeared a rock pit in one wall of the house, where the fill, context 118 and 128, were removed.
Video from the archaeological excavations in Cut Vika and Vika Mountains, Hammerfest, performed by the Tromsø Museum, University Museum.
Excellent video and a fairly easy way to help the audience see the archaeology.
A quick, unrelated note:
Thanks again for everyone who commented on the previous entry about health and safety. I’ve long wanted to make a series of videos or comics to make boring topics such as OSHA compliance easy to understand, but when to find the time?
I uploaded the above test clip for the longer machinima that I posted about a little while ago. It took an immense amount of work to get this far, and this is only a tiny clip of a somewhat awkward avatar doing a single animation. I used Jing for the video capture and downloaded Soundflower for the system audio redirect.
I think I’ve complained before about having a hard time finding a variety of avatars on Second Life. Well, this lady is definitely in a different mode than my usual avatar. “Wearing” an identity like this one is deeply uncanny, and the reactions and perceptions of other people you meet in Second Life are absolutely different. I decided to follow a fairly popular strain of visual interpretation at Çatalhöyük in dressing her as a goddess figurine in the bandeau that I made for a decidedly younger character.
Once again, the exercise of recreating this small scene raised more questions than it answered:
She’s weaving reeds, so it must be summer. Were there cicadas? Yes. Why would she be doing this inside by firelight during the summer? It would be excruciatingly hot and smoky. What about her vision? I’ve put her in a less than optimal situation for weaving, that’s for sure. Why isn’t there anyone with her? Could she hear other people? Maybe sheep! We’ll add some sheep sounds. I think she’d be humming to herself. But what sounds?
It’s a lot of interpretive responsibility, wearing these second skins.
I’m not sure I’d title the project the same way, but I love what London Squared did with this film. I wonder if the filmmakers showed the result to the people they interviewed for the project and how the people felt about seeing themselves as objects in the landscape. The filmmakers call themselves urban anthropologists, but their webpage doesn’t mention any formal training.
Still, I’m always looking for inspiration. Even if I don’t have that kind of animation skills.
This Wednesday after the scheduled brown bag lecture, there will be a
showing of “So You’re an Archaeologist?!”, a 20 minute long film made for
the Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul exhibit,
currently running at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
This film was made by UC Berkeley PhD Candidates David Cohen and Colleen
Morgan and features interviews by many of their colleagues.
The film will start at approximately 1pm, after the scheduled lecture from
Alexei Vranich, and will be located in the Archaeological Research
Facility, 2251 College Building, Room 101.
I bought a Flip video camera to check it out for potential use in outreach and more cheap, on-the-fly video recording. I like how small the thing is and it is really easy to use, but I think one of the most interesting aspects of it is the cell phone-like morphology of the thing. People act very differently when they have video cameras pointed at them, and this (so far) seems to be less true with the Flip camera. I like that it promotes more casual recording and it seems more resilient then most video cameras–perfect for on site.
One of the steep downsides is the gui that comes with it. I played with “editing” inside of it and uploading videos with it, and almost immediately became frustrated with how obtuse it was. I ended up importing the .avi files that it creates into Final Cut Pro, and editing them with my old, familiar tools. The video quality isn’t great, but it’s better than most cell phone and digital camera video. Jason, the site photographer at Catal, was playing with one of these over the summer, but I haven’t seen what he’s shot with it yet, so I can’t really compare.
I shot the above video while driving with Ruth to the Presidio, sped it up, threw a couple of transitions in and a snippet from Broadcast’s Poem of a Dead Song, just for kicks. It took about 10 minutes, including rendering time. Not too shabby.
The video quality on flickr leaves something to be desired. I’m still trying to find the magic encoding/quality/upload computation.
A short clip from a longer video that we’re making for the San Francisco Asian Art museum. It’s the first time I’ve shot in HD, and it’s producing some problems between Final Cut Pro versions, but I’m struggling along.
Cross-posted at Montclair SocioBlog. Does “the abortion culture” cause infanticide? That is, does legalizing the aborting of a fetus in the womb create a cultural, moral climate where people feel free to kill newborn babies? It’s not a new argument. I recall a 1998 Peggy Noonan op-ed in the Times, “Abortion’s Children,” arguing that kids who grew up in the […]
Hint from Dmitriy T.C.: he probably wears shorts to work. Here’s the infographic, sent in also by sociologist Michael Kimmel, revealing the highest paid employee in each state. Yellow, orange, and green states are all ones in which the most money goes to an athletic coach. More details at DeadSpin. Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental Colleg […]
I absolutely love this photograph of a collage on the wall of an activist in the rather new national movement to hold colleges and universities accountable for sexual assault. Referencing Title IX and the “bigger picture,” it documents cross-college efforts to use the amendment to ensure that sex crimes on campuses don’t interfere with women’s rights to equ […]
[Image: Photo courtesy of Venue]. (This post originally published on Venue). Fort Irwin is a U.S. army base nearly the size of Rhode Island, located in the Mojave Desert about an hour's drive northeast of Barstow, California. There you will find the National Training Center, or NTC, at which all U.S. troops, from all services, spend a twenty-one day rot […]
“those joys were so small that they passed unnoticed, like gold in sand, and at bad moments she could see nothing but the pain, nothing but sand; but there were good moments too when she saw nothing but the joy, nothing but gold.” - anna karenina - leo tolstoy (via scribble-scribbles)
“It has occurred to me that this picture-taking might in some ways be an excuse to touch and pet and hold the iPhone itself, which has a weirdly calming effect on people, as though it were an amulet or maybe a small living animal. I am guilty of all the smartphone sins—in essence, staring at the phone when you should be staring at life. It’s possible that th […]
John Conway's Log: Palaeontological Illustration, a Tell-All Confession: nyctopterus: I got an email a couple of months ago, asking my advice on how to study, and get into palaeontological illustration as a career. My first impulse was to try to seem like a pro, and make up some bullshit. But I reconsidered, and answered honestly. Palaeontological illus […]