The naval battle representation on the walls of Ramesses III’s ‘mansion of a million years’ at Medinet Habu (ca. 1175 BCE) stands as one of the earliest, and certainly most detailed, depictions of ship–to–ship combat. It also depicts the only known vessels of Helladic galley type to be depicted with stem–and–stern avian decoration. As such, they have been called upon as evidence for the inclusion of Central Europeans (‘Urnfielders’) in the Sea Peoples coalition(s), and – more recursively – to bolster the view that the highly schematic designs on the stemposts of Helladic galleys were avian in nature. This paper addresses these conclusions and evaluates the evidence that has been presented for an ‘Urnfield’ connection to the Sea Peoples’ ships, along with some notes on the ostensibly avian nature of Helladic galleys’ finial decorations.
The continued increase of digital tools and methods in both teaching and research has created a need for initial and ongoing support within institutions. While each institution has its own specific needs, we can learn a great deal from each other's approaches and experiences. This presentation offers as a case study Harvard University's recent (and ongoing) experience working across groups and divisional boundaries to support digital scholarship, digital methods-related courses, and the integration of digital components into courses and assignments through training, consultation, and the development and implementation of digital tools and methods.
The goal of this session is to convene practitioners in a dialogue that is focused on examples of digitally-informed approaches to archaeological instruction in any setting. This can include field schools, workshops, seminars, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and more. Contributions to this session can consist of successful approaches to integrating digital methods into the instruction of archaeology and cultural heritage, either in the classroom, online, or via hybrid methods, as well as lessons learned from approaches that were not as successful as desired.
This session is partly planned as a follow-up to the CAA 2017 session Archaeology In and Out of the Classroom." We envision it as being interactive in nature: paper presentations may be supplemented by demonstrations of digital tools and approaches, and projects that are in the planning or pilot stage, or that are in need of reworking to improve results, can be discussed or workshopped by session participants. The ultimate goals for presenters and attendees alike are to gain better understanding of pedagogical approaches to archaeology, to leave better equipped to intelligently apply digital methods and tools to teaching, and to have made contacts within a community of practice to whom they can go with future ideas, questions, and challenges.
This session focuses on the thoughtful integration of digital methods into the processes of gathering, recording, interrogating, and publishing archaeological data. Digital publications, geospatial datasets, and three-dimensional presentation are examples of interactive approaches to what has been called “digital archaeology.” This interactivity can be taken a step further, as approaches like Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality (AR, VR, and MR) allow for the fostering of immersive experiences around the reconstruction, visualization, and presentation of archaeological data.
This session highlights all aspects of digital innovation in the survey, excavation, interrogation, and publication process, with particular emphasis on 3D modeling and printing, data interoperability, and VR, AR, and MR. It is intended both to serve as a follow-up to the CAA 2017 session on 3D modeling, AR/VR, and immersion (chaired by the session proposer), and to foster further discussion about the uses of interactive and immersive technologies both in the field, and in the presentation and analysis of objects and datasets.
The format of this session will be a combination of interactive presentation and discussion, with a specific emphasis on demonstrations of 3D reconstruction, Virtual/Augmented and Mixed Reality experiences, online presentation, and other interactive and immersive approaches to excavation, recording, and dissemination. Our goal is to cultivate a needed community of practice and shared knowledge around these techniques and approaches, while working together to support the highest quality of digital methods and processes in archaeological practice.
Steward, J., Singhal, R., Stern, R., Emanuel, J. P., & Harward, J. V. (2017). Integrating IIIF and Mirador at Harvard. In Visual Resources Association (VRA) 34th Annual Conference: Unbridled Opportunities . Louisville, KY, March 9-April 1.
The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) is a set of common APIs developed to provide access to digital visual material from libraries, museums, and other repositories without the all-too-frequent need for a common viewing application. In this session, discover how Harvard has leveraged the promise of IIIF across multiple functional areas, supporting the adoption of a new Harvard Library Viewer, walls of images in the Harvard Art Museums, and image collections embedded in Canvas and in MOOCs from HarvardX — all in high resolution and with unprecedented interactivity.
The continuous development and adoption digital methods, tools, and technologies is having an impact on virtually every field. In archaeology, these developments affect the way we carry out excavations, conservation, publication, and all of the steps in between. Similarly, technology has become such an ingrained part of teaching and learning that what used to be referred to separately as “teaching with technology” has now simply become a part of teaching writ large.
The convergence between technologically-informed teaching and the practice of archaeology takes place on multiple levels, from introductory instruction to higher-order skills needed for fieldwork and data analysis. Similarly, it is realized through multiple modalities, including in person – in the field and in the classroom – and online, as well as in a hybrid form consisting of classroom/field and classroom/online combinations.
The goal of this session is to convene practitioners in a dialogue that is focused on examples of digitally-informed approaches to archaeological instruction in any setting, from seminars to massive open online courses (MOOCs) to field workshops, etc. To that end, we invite contributions that speak to the application of digital methods to the teaching of archaeology as a subject and as a practice. These contributions can consist of successful approaches to integrating digital methods into the instruction of archaeology and cultural heritage, either in the classroom, online, or via hybrid methods, as well as lessons learned from less successful approaches.
We envision this as an interactive session: paper presentations may be supplemented by demonstrations of digital tools and approaches, and projects that are in the planning or pilot stage, or that are in need of reworking to improve results, can be discussed or ‘workshopped’ by session participants, with the ultimate goal of gaining a better understanding of, and becoming better equipped to intelligently apply, digital methods and tools to the teaching of archaeology.
Innovations in digital recording have caused the amount of data collected during modern archaeological excavations to dwarf that collected only a few years ago – let alone in the excavations of the previous century. The thoughtful integration of digital methods into the process (from excavation to publication) can assist in more complete recording and, just as importantly, meaningful presentation and dissemination of these data. The integration into the digital picture of data from prior excavations and campaign seasons, which may have been recorded in different formats and following different methodologies, is also important.
Digital publications, geospatial datasets, and 3D printed objects are examples of interactive approaches to this problem. This is can be taken a step further with immersion, as modern approaches like Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality allow us to create truly immersive experiences around the reconstruction, visualization, and presentation of data.
In archaeology, interaction and immersion can serve at least two purposes: (1) exhibition and display, which can include the digital supplements to publications and exhibits, physical reconstruction and replication, and virtual reconstruction of sites and artifacts, including those that no longer physically exist; and (2) the close examination of live datasets, which can run the gamut from database queries to the 3D rendering of archaeological data in situ for the purpose of discovery, analysis, and information sharing. Archaeological data in particular are well–suited to Augmented and Virtual Reality for both presentation and dataset exploration, as GIS points and associated finds, which are inherently three–dimensional, connote possible shapes, models, and textures.
This session is intended to foster discussion about the uses of interactive and immersive technologies both in the field, and in the presentation and analysis of objects and datasets. Its format will be a combination of interactive presentation and discussion, with a specific emphasis on demonstrations of 3D reconstruction, Virtual/Augmented and Mixed Reality experiences, online presentation, and other interactive and immersive approaches to excavation, recording, and dissemination. Our goal is to cultivate the community of practice and shared knowledge around these techniques and approaches, while working together to support the highest quality of research and dissemination of archaeological data in this digital age.
Literary and iconographic accounts suggest that the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age (LH IIIB-LH IIIC) in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean was marked by increased threats on both land and sea. This includes the iconography of warriors and warfare, particularly in Egypt and in the Aegean world, where the first representations of true ship-to-ship combat are seen. This paper investigates these early iconographic and literary accounts, asking whether they should be seen as “warfare” in the formal sense, as piratical (and anti-piratical) naval operations, or as a combination of both, and seeking to define these terms in the context of the Late Bronze-Early Iron Age transition. Adaptations in ship technology and fighting style that had to be made by states and non-state actors alike during this turbulent time are also considered.
Harvard has been able to leverage the promise of interoperable APIs by replicating the IIIF/Mirador design pattern across multiple functional areas sharing core Image API and digital repository services. Sharing knowledge, expertise, and digital content, and Mirador, multiple “heads” have sprouted: a viewer application for the HarvardX course “The Book”, a new Harvard Library Viewer, faculty image collections that can be created and curated in course websites via LTI, and walls of images in the Harvard Art Museums. What did it take to enable this level of collaboration in a large distributed organization?
How can digital archives be made more open and accessible, both within and across institutions? Can new ways of accessing digitized objects truly improve the ways these objects and their physical counterparts are used in teaching, learning, and research? And how has the new emphasis on open online learning driven the way these questions are approached? This paper provides a case study in the use of digital material in scholarship and pedagogy, with particular focus on Mirador, an open-source (https://github.com/IIIF/mirador), scalable, high-resolution tool with annotation capability that makes use of an open API standard (specifically the International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF) to support simultaneous interaction with digitized objects from multiple repositories worldwide. Beyond being developed as a next-generation tool for interaction with digitized library and museum objects, Mirador also serves a key role in Humanities instruction online, with its first public release coming in 2015 in the service of an interdisciplinary Massive Open Online Course focusing on the history of the Book (HUM 1x, offered via edX). This presentation will include a demonstration of Mirador, with particular emphasis on its role in fostering intimate, user-directed interaction with digitized objects in museums, libraries, and other repositories, both as a research tool and as an interoperable (LTI) resource for teaching and learning in the online environment.
How can new technologies improve our interaction with digitized library and museum objects? Can new ways of accessing digitized objects truly improve the ways these objects and their physical counterparts are used in teaching, learning, and research? And how can digital archives be made more open and accessible, both within and across institutions? This paper provides a case study in the use of digital material in scholarship and pedagogy, with particular focus on the use of an open API standard (specifically the International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF) to support simultaneous, high-definition interaction with digitized objects from multiple repositories, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the British Museum, ARTstor, and two dozen others. Included in this presentation is a demonstration of Mirador, an open-source (https://github.com/IIIF/mirador), scalable, high-resolution tool with annotation capability, jointly developed by Harvard and Stanford Universities over the last year, that is designed to foster intimate, user-directed interaction with digitized objects in museum, library, and other repositories.
The recent expansion of online access to higher education has driven the development of new academic technologies specifically designed to improve the student experience and increase learning. This paper provides a case study in this area by focusing on one such technology: a scalable, high-resolution, annotatable tool for intimate, user-directed interaction with digitized objects in museum, library, and other repositories. The tool, collaboratively developed by Harvard and Stanford Universities, was first made available to learners as an integral part of "The Book: Histories Across Time and Space," a modular, interdisciplinary MOOC produced by HarvardX and delivered in 2015 on the edX learning platform. Specific examples of media delivered to learners will be presented here, along with detailed analytics of user interaction and behavior will be presented, These will be accompanied by preliminary conclusions about the role of this tool in visual learning, as well as recommended avenues for further use and research.
We describe how faculty desire for a state-of-the-art platform to study and teach Harvard Library’s digitized books and manuscripts found an eager sponsor in HarvardX and HUIT. The project has joined an open source software consortium based on open APIs (Shared Canvas, IIIF) led by Stanford. Harvard Library is championing the project as a successor to the web tools that currently access the Digital Repository. Oculus will debut in HarvardX’s History of the Book modules in early 2015.
The multidirectional flow of communication and culture around the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean is clearly reflected in the iconographic, literary, and material records. While the participation of states in these exchanges of ideas and objects is clearly recorded in records like the Amarna letters, the role of non-state actors, both within established networks and “below the radar” on the periphery of formal lines of communication, is a subject that has garnered increasing interest in recent years. This paper approaches the role of peripheral actors – alternatively known as entrepreneurs or pirates, depending on time, setting, and context – in the development and diffusion of technology by focusing on the development and spread of the Helladic Oared Galley and the Loose-Footed, Brailed Sail around the Eastern Mediterranean during the last years of the Late Bronze Age and the Late Bronze–Early Iron transition. These technological developments represented a break from prior ship design, which revolutionized seafaring in the eastern Mediterranean. While the Galley, a vessel well-suited for raiding and warfare, seems to have its origin in the Helladic world (as its name suggests), the brailed sailing rig appears in multiple locations within the Eastern Mediterranean world within a small temporal window, with its most famous representation being the naval battle scene at Medinet Habu, wherein both Egyptian and ‘Sea Peoples’ ships are portrayed as employing this new rig in identical fashion. The circumstances and connections which caused these opposing forces to draw on new and identical implements will be explored in this study, as will the role (and travels) of non-state maritime actors in driving the development and distribution of this revolutionary maritime technology.
While the World Wide Web has provided the public at large with heretofore-unimagined access to information, the egalitarian – and frequently anonymous – nature of online content creation has also provided an unprecedented opportunity for the spread of misinformation and misinterpretation alike. Archaeology is no exception to the double-edged sword that is the 21st century web, as the opening of museum collections, the ability to conduct armchair “surveys” via tools like Google Earth, unfettered access to uncontextualized images via simple Web search, and similar developments have combined to confront a new generation of avocational and aspiring archaeologists with myriad explanations and interpretations of artifacts, archaeological data, and history writ large.
While certainly – and literally! – not a deus ex machina, the rise of the MOOC (both in its traditional definition as “massive open online course,” and in its growing use as a repository for massively-accessible online content) may help counter this current state of affairs by providing a structured mechanism for professionals across the academy to reach, interact with, educate, and learn from an ever-growing online audience. This is of particular importance for archaeology, a field in which standards of conduct and interpretation are keys to sound and ethical practice.
The open, inclusive nature of MOOC-based learning experiences can allow them to compete with similarly free and open sources of information about archaeological topics that are broadly accessible on the public Internet. Further, in the MOOC environment, experts leading open online learning experiences can draw in new participants, while simultaneously ensuring that the facts, techniques, and practices conveyed in their particular learning experience represent accurate scholarly interpretation and understanding, as well as the most up-to-date professional standards and methods. Successful participants, in turn, may go on to serve as international and intercultural hubs from which accurate, professionally-conveyed information can flow outward to various peripheries, while at the same time the multicultural nature of MOOC audiences may also serve as a mechanism for improving the professional practice of archaeology, in part by creating a feedback loop via which practitioners can be exposed to viewpoints and cultural interpretations that might not be commonly considered.
While distance education is not a new phenomenon by any means, the combination of open learning opportunities and 21st century technologies has allowed “non-traditional” education to take a decidedly non-traditional turn of its own. New technologies and techniques allow learners to be provided with interactive experiences, while teachers can be provided the ability to keep their fingers on the pulse of the participant collective, ensuring that knowledge and understanding are being effectively communicated to the community of learners, and that the feedback loop between participants and practitioners remains firmly in place. This paper considers the role of MOOCs in this “new academy,” with two open learning experiences offered by HarvardX/edX in 2013 serving as case studies to evaluate and demonstrate the opportunity presented by the MOOC phenomenon not only to engage students online, but to take steps toward creating a true worldwide community of practice.
In 1920, a small wooden ship model was discovered in a shallow tomb in Gurob, near the Faiyum oasis in Middle Egypt. Incorrectly assembled (twice) but perceptively labeled as a “Pirate Boat” by the overseer of its excavation, Flinders Petrie, the model was paired in antiquity with a pavois and a wheeled cart, likely signifying its use as a cultic object. Following two brief mentions by Petrie (in 1927 and 1933), the model was largely forgotten until the turn of the millennium, when it was “rediscovered” in the Petrie Egyptological Museum and published by in 2013 by Shelley Wachsmann, who recognized the small model as representing a Helladic oared galley of the type known from the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
The galley’s introduction was a critical inflection point in the history of ship architecture, as its design allowed for unprecedented freedom of movement on the seas. Adopted around the Eastern Mediterranean, the Helladic galley ultimately spawned both the Phoenician bireme and Greek dieres, and its use was critical to these cultures’ Iron Age exploration, expansion, and colonization. The Gurob model, which dates between the mid-13th and mid-11th centuries BCE, is the most complete three-dimensional evidence we have for this important vessel type, as well as the only polychromatic representation found to date. As such, it confirms much that has been theorized about these vessels, while also providing new evidence for their construction and adornment, including the use of color – a facet of Mycenaean seafaring that had only previously been accessible in Homeric epithets like μἐλας ‘black’ and κυανόπρῳρος ‘dark-prowed’, as well as the less-well-understood μιλτοπάρῃος ‘red-cheeked’ and φοινικοπάρῃος ‘purple-cheeked’ descriptors. The latter are only used in the Homeric epics to identify the vessels of Odysseus, and the uniquely polychromatic nature of the Gurob ship-cart allows to understand them much more fully than in the past.
This lecture discusses the Gurob model and its significance for our understanding of Mycenaean seafaring and Homeric ship descriptions, and includes three-dimensional representations, composed by the Institute for the Visualization of History, of this ship-cart model as discovered and as reconstructed. Additionally, the design, spread, and influences of the Helladic oared galley are discussed in their internationalist Eastern Mediterranean context, with particular emphasis on framing Odysseus’ maritime to Egypt, vividly recounted in the hero’s ‘second Cretan Lie,’ within the larger context of the epic’s fictive date in the Late Bronze–Early Iron Age transition.
The transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age (LH IIIB-C) in the eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, and Near East was marked by the destruction of empires and the migratory movement of populations. This time of upheaval was also marked by a change in the iconography of warriors and warfare, particularly in Egypt and in the Aegean world, including the first representations of true naval combat. Warriors in feathered headdresses, never before seen in Helladic or Egyptian art, are shown on Aegean pottery and in Egyptian relief taking part in battles on both land and sea, and the Helladic oared galley (Wedde’s Type V) makes its first appearance at this time as an instrument of naval warfare. This paper investigates these earliest representations of naval combat, with a special emphasis on the appearance and employment of new maritime technology and its effect on naval warfare. Also considered are what changes in fighting, if any, had to be made in order to adapt to this early form of ship-based combat.
The association of the Sherden with their fellow “Sea Peoples,” the more well-known and better-attested Philistines, has led to several assumptions about this group, its members’ origin, and their role in the events that marked the end of the Late Bronze Age and the transition to the Iron Age. Despite a broad temporal presence in ancient Near Eastern records, there exists limited information about who these Sherden were and where they came from, the circumstances of their entry into the Egyptian and Ugaritic records in which they appear, and where they eventually settled. Further, addressing these questions in traditional fashion relies on the assumption that they were a homogeneous ethnic group with a single shared culture, point of origin, and geographic destination. This study separates the Sherden from the Aegean migration and greater “Sea Peoples” phenomenon of the Late Bronze–Early Iron Age transition in an effort to challenge long-held assumptions about their initial encounter with Ramesses II in the early years of his rule, their role in the famous land battle and naumachia of Ramesses III’s eighth year, their participation in the migrations that marked the end of the Late Bronze Age, and their status as foreigners to the Levant whose main function was to serve as mercenary soldiers and pirates. Through a close reading of the extant material and literary evidence from the Amarna and Ramesside periods in Egypt, and with support from relevant Ugaritic texts, the role of the Sherden within broader Near Eastern society in general, and amesside Egypt in particular, is shown to be very different from that of the more famous Philistines: one of initial, small-scale intrusion of heterogeneous warriors who originated elsewhere within the eastern Mediterranean world, followed by relative geographic stability over multigenerational periods that was marked by rapid and enduring acculturation and assimilation into Egyptian society.
The appearance of the brailed rig and loose-footed sail at the end of the Late Bronze Age revolutionized seafaring in the eastern Mediterranean. In the first visual representation of a naval battle in the Egyptian records, the battle at Medinet Habu, both Egyptian and ‘Sea Peoples’ ships are portrayed as employing this new rig on warships which are nearly identical in structure and design. This fact suggests some level of previous contact between the invading mariners and those responsible for designing and constructing Egypt’s ships of war. This paper examines the evidence for the development of the brailed rig in the eastern Mediterranean, and explores the possibility that the Šrdn of the Sea, one of the ‘Sea Peoples’ who appeared in “battleships in the midst of the sea” off of the Egyptian coast a century earlier, may have played an integral role in the transference of that technology to the Egyptians.