Multimedia and Archaeology

In my field of Anthropology (Archaeology) I see multimedia being used quite a bit. Many writings in archaeology are based on a thesis or a hypothesis. Therefore their use of rhetoric is essential. According to Geoffrey Rockwell and Andrew Mactavish, whose article I read in my digital humanities class at the University of Tulsa stated that, “A multimedia work is one designed to convince, delight, or instruct in the classical sense of rhetoric.”

Today many archaeologists publish their findings and ideas in magazines, in books, on websites, in public blogs, and even in T.V. shows (ex: Chasing Mummies). This increases the size of their audience as well as the chance they may receive feedback. Feedback is very important in the interaction of archaeology due to the detective-like approaches that are used on its subjects. Many times archaeologist are making educated guesses on what took place in these distant cultures. An archaeological site is much like a crime scene. One would create a much more accurate hypothesis by taking into account other’s ideas. Multimedia enables archaeologists to interact with one another from all over the world and instantly.
I also have recently seen archaeology shown more often on T.V. in shows like: Chasing Mummies,The Naked Archaeologist, and Time Team. I found the reality T.V. show, Chasing Mummies, quite interesting. It is focused on the legendary Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and his fellows (interns). The shows goal is to let viewers share in the thrills, discoveries, and hardships facing the team and crew as they toil to reveal what lies beneath the sand. However I found this program to be somewhat a disappointment. It seems, like many reality T.V. shows that they focused too much on the drama aspect and not the actual educational aspects. I thought the program also made a mockery of archaeology and presented the way in which we work in a very dysfunctional and uneducated matter. Moreover I am happy to see people making the effort of sparking more of an interest in the field of archaeology.

Multimedia is an excellent tool and I predict it will continue to be used in my field more and more as time passes on.

Ashley Brown

Works Cited:

Geoffrey Rockwell and Andrew Mactavish Article Link

Chasing Mummies Link

2 responses to “Multimedia and Archaeology

  1. Pingback: Final Project: Archaeology and the Age of Technology | Introduction to Digital Humanities·

  2. Pingback: Archaeology and the Age of Technology « AmiraZara·

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