Archaeology Films A-Z: The Amphora of Eleusis

Title: The Amphora of Eleusis
Year: 2006
Length: 4 minutes
Made by: Eleni Stoumbou
Genre: Experimental
Authors: Eleni Stoumbou has made several short archaeology films and contributes to Archaeology Magazine. She studied documentary filmmaking at Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense.

Review:  title

A delightful short video subtitled in Greek and English that takes the viewer through the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops as if it were being told to a child using the decorated amphora of Eleusis as a story book.

odysseus
MY EYE!

The soundtrack is performed in part with a Cretan lyre and compliments the subject–light and repetitive without being grating. There are some slightly cheesy Adobe After Effects and a random and jarring animation, but they don’t detract too much from the film.

child

A simple, creative exploration of an artifact that shows the potential for archaeology films to go beyond a simple expository framework. I was delighted by the presentation of the amphora and then the progression of the film to show a mother and child looking at the artifact in a museum. There’s even a slightly macabre twist near the end!

Absolutely one to show archaeology, conservation & museum students as an example of how to make a simple, engaging film using a single artifact.

5/5

(I had to skip the  previous film in the sequence, The Akha Way, as I had trouble streaming it. I’ll come back to it.)

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Author: colleenmorgan

Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.

One thought on “Archaeology Films A-Z: The Amphora of Eleusis”

  1. Dear Dr. Morgan,
    thank you for writing this review on my Amphora film and your positive comments. As my work is a gaze on ancient artifacts and works of art, allow me to propose to you a recent short film on the depiction of a macedonian symposium of the 4th c. B.C., not accessible to visitors so far: The macedonian tomb of Hagios Athanassios, Thessaloniki.

    Best regards,
    Eleni Stoumpou-Katsamouris

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