Free Archaeology & Nabonidus

Came across a forum for the discussion of archaeometrics, quantitative studies, informatics and so on in archaeology, which lives here; it might be of interest to others, though when I clicked through on some links they were dead.  I found it from the Nabonidus Archaeology Home Page (“The Future of Archaeology”). I’ll be examining what Nabonidus has to offer and I’ll let you know what I find… Continue reading Free Archaeology & Nabonidus

Machine translation

Not so long ago, I wrote the Government of Canada’s official bilingualism test for anglophones, as part of the process of winnowing out candidates for a job. First, a multiple choice test of my reading comprehension, then a multiple choice test of my knowledge of the intricacies of French grammar, and then (if the first two tests went well) an oral test of my actual ability to communicate in French. It’s worth noting that all of the test questions were framed in bureaucratese. Interestingly, I scored a perfect on my reading comprehension, but utterly flunked the grammar – which meant … Continue reading Machine translation

What does Civilization Stand For? Modding Contest from Firaxis!

One last post before the holidays (thanks Jan for bringing this to my attention!), and one which might be of interest to any academic/educational modders out there; nb it’s only for US residents, so my ‘Year of the Four Emperors‘ won’t be in the mix: What Does Your Civilization Stand For? Official Rules Entry Form The holidays are upon us and we’re certain many of you are wondering what to do while sitting in the comfort of your homes, staying as far away from the nasty weather and shopping crowds as possible. Sure, you could spend time with family, play … Continue reading What does Civilization Stand For? Modding Contest from Firaxis!

“Burial Passage” – Remixing Catalhoyuk

I’ve finally resolved my graphics issues, and can now float about in Second Life without fear of crashing my poor old computer. I teleported over to Okapi Island to see what I’d missed during the Remixing Catalhoyuk day.  One of the first things I came across was Sebastian Heath’s entry for the remixing contest, ‘Burial Passage’. He writes: “‘Burial Passage’ intends to immerse users in images related to the excavation of the multiple burials below the NW platform of building 3. You can walk through it in either direction. I sort of like going uphill. The images at the two … Continue reading “Burial Passage” – Remixing Catalhoyuk

“Making Dead History Come Alive Through Mobile Game Play”

In an earlier post, I mused on the possibilities for enhancing the experience at an archaeological site by mashing-up the physical and the virtual, and in a subsquent post I presented a lesson plan for doing that in a group setting. A related post concerns the use of Mediascapes to play games at the Tower of London. Seems I’m not the only one thinking along these lines – a paper presented at the Computer/Human Interaction Conference 2007 by researchers at the University of Bari explicitly details an augmented-reality game at a Roman site in Italy (full paper): “Abstract: This work … Continue reading “Making Dead History Come Alive Through Mobile Game Play”

Blogging Archaeology

William Caraher has been writing about the history of blogging, especially in the archaeological world (it is also posted here). It’s a fascinating discussion, and it brought to my attention a number of blogs – and student blogs written whilst on-site at excavations – that I hadn’t encountered before. It was nice, too, to see Electric Archaeology get a mention amongst all this fantastic work – thanks! Many people write blogs with the hope of making a bit of coin from them too somehow. I wonder if academic blogs are considered in awarding tenure? I reach more people writing this … Continue reading Blogging Archaeology

Archaeology Island in Second Life

Scott Moore is detailing his archaeological projects in Second Life over on his blog. Yesterday, he and his colleagues made a presentation to his university trustees about what they are doing, which include a virtual Parthenon, Mayan temple, and a shipwreck. Sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to come visit! Robert Welch University is also planning a small presence in Second Life, which will be more to bring our distance students together than to do any large-scale simulation, although I’m planning a tetris-style immersive game to help with the Latin teaching. Scott’s Parthenon Continue reading Archaeology Island in Second Life

Establishing Virtual Learning Worlds (for Archaeology too!)

A blog worth examining, if you are interested in the educational aspect of immersive learning in online worlds, is the aptly named ‘Virtual Learning Worlds‘ Blog. There’s a white paper there by Barton Pursel and Keith Bailey that I’m about to read, abstract below: Abstract Video games in today’s society have moved from a cult phenomenon to a mainstream leisure activity. One reason for this is the emergence of online gaming, where people interact, socialize, and learn in online environments. While online game populations rapidly increase, the attrition in online courses remains to be an issue. Based on the needs … Continue reading Establishing Virtual Learning Worlds (for Archaeology too!)

Writing Archaeology and Writing Fiction

The title of this post comes from an article written by David Wilkinson, of Oxford Archaeology, published in the Autumn 2007 edition of ‘The Archaeologist’ (the journal of the Institute of Field Archaeologists). Wilkinson is not only a top-flight archaeologist, he is also an accomplished writer of fiction. In his article, he contrasts the writing of fiction with the writing of archaeology. His first example, the description of a clay, is instructive: Slabs like the squared off clots Of a blue cream. Sunk for centuries under grass [Seamus Heany, Door into the Dark 1969] … Until I found Bann clay. … Continue reading Writing Archaeology and Writing Fiction

Who’s On Second – podcasts about nonprofits and educators in Second Life

Does what it says on the tin – check it out . Of particular relevance to archaeologists (at least those of us concerned with space): Episode Nineteen – Building in Space – Chad Oberg March 27, 2007 | 37 Mb| 36 Min. A design consultant and intern architect discusses the effects of space, both virtual and real   Also of interest to art historians: Episode Ten – Dancing With the Graces January 23, 2007 | 22 Mb| 21 Min. Catherine and Alan Petersen discuss bringing art history and curation into Second Life   Continue reading Who’s On Second – podcasts about nonprofits and educators in Second Life