Posts From April, 2014

Light years away by Edurne Rubio – a review

I have been fortunate to attend a representation of “Light years away” by Ms. Edurne Rubio in Groningen, Netherlands. The artist is the daughter of one of the explorers of the cave system of Ojo Guareña, near Burgos, Spain and has a long and intimate connection with the caves. The performance mixes monologue, surround sound, video and theatrical performance. In its basic structure, it is the representation of a guided tour of the caves, one that is imaginary and not constricted by time or space. For those not knowing the caves, it is an extraordinary long (about 110 km known) cave system, with several subterranean lakes, at least 6 levels, and multiple openings. The upper cave system was frequented by humans from the Upper Paleolithic to the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age, in different moments, before being rediscovered only in the past century. There are significant traces of human presence, including complex panels of rock art, residues of torches, burials, and even ancient... Read the rest of this entry »
 

Last of the CSA Newsletter

I have contributed quite regularly to the CSA Newsletter since 2010. It is with some sadness that I announce the last edition of a publication that began its life in 1988. The newsletter has been dedicated to exploring computing and the digital world for archaeologists. It was published on the Web since 2000 and currently it is not replaced by any other publication. The last issue brings one article and one review written by yours truly. The newsletter will be of interest to many since it records the history of the adoption of computing into the discipline of archaeology. However, many contents should be kept in mind and discussed by the archaeological community before consigning it to history. I try here a brief history of computing in archaeology referring to the newsletter. In the beginning, only very advanced and specialised programs were being presented, such as CAD. Virtual reality was breaking news in 1988 and the Mac was the computer to use. In issue 2 even underwater... Read the rest of this entry »
 

Publishing Data in Archaeology

As I was reviewing some data for a book, it occurred to me that archaeologists really produce a lot of data. Without managing the data of a modern site excavation, much of what I write or talk about is data-driven. I began thinking which other disciplines may be so data rich, and it occurred to me that few are. Astrophysics, from the smallest to the largest, is a discipline that probes everything and for which no conclusion can be made without empirical data. We can think of physics as the science that probes reality and matter, the physicality of our world. Biology, including both descriptive and genetic data is another science that founds itself on empirical data and produces lots of data. We can think of biology as the science that probes life. Archaeology, could therefore be intended as the science that probes the past, and more specifically the human past, to reveal and understand human history and human culture. Once you cover humans, life and the universe, little else is left... Read the rest of this entry »