Digital Innovation in Archaeology

Attendees will need to have with them a mobile phone to respond to anonymous online polls.

The aim of this event is to showcase how digital innovation can maximise impact in archaeological practice (broadly defined).

- ‘Unpath’d Waters: Digital innovation for marine and maritime heritage in the UK’ | Barney Sloane, National Specialist Services Director at Historic England

Unpath’d Waters is one of five three-year ‘Towards a National Collection’ discovery projects funded by AHRC. It is seeking to explore, test and resolve challenges in linking marine and maritime heritage data across the UK, demonstrate the enhanced research potential through the use of AI and other digital tools, and create new ways of engaging audiences with that research potential. This presentation will outline the goals, research approaches and some of the successes so far of the project.

- Javaria Abbasi is a Clarendon Scholar and a DPhil Candidate in Medieval & Modern Languages at Merton College, Oxford. Javaria works as a Historical and Cultural Consultant for a Mexican indie video-game company, Dream of Darkness. Dream of Darkness is a cosmological horror game that transgresses popular myths about the 16th Century Spanish “Conquest” of Mexico to centre indigenous, queer, and women’s, perspectives. The video game is a collaboration with leading scholars of indigenous histories and archaeology (e.g. Mary E. Miller, Jonathan Truitt, Matthew Restall, among others) from the U.S. and the U.K.
Javaria will speak about how she uses her two passions —- indigenous history and gaming —- outside a purely academic context, and share practical advice for those interested in taking a less traditional route for impactful research. She will focus on what it means to be a public scholar as well as the advantages and disadvantages of translating her academic research to, and collaborating with, a non-specialist audience.

- ‘Provoking’ better research and teaching using digital 3D models: A case-study from the Roman Empire | Dr John Hanson, Departmental Lecturer in Roman Archaeology, Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford

This talk will begin by exploring how recent theoretical models can be combined with the latest research to create new general models of how settlements operate and transform our understanding of the built environments of ancient cities, leading to productive interdisciplinary dialogues. It will then discuss how recent developments in digital 3D models can be used to not only revolutionize how we teach Roman Architecture, but also generate an increasingly sophisticated understanding of how structures acted as venues for social interactions, facilitating social networks and economic exchange. It will conclude by considering a number of ways in which these technologies can be improved.

This event is organised by Archaeology Partnerships, an ASPECT Innovation Fellowship of the School of Archaeology. It was made possible with the support of the University of Oxford’s ASPECT Innovation Fellowship Programme and ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.