February 28, 2013
A while ago I joined my Archaeology colleagues on a visit to the Winchester School of Art, our university’s Art campus. We would spend a full day working with the artists there, producing archaeology inspired art. What is archaeology inspired art? I have no idea! It turns out that anything produced by archaeologists would do. So all of us started work on a range of screen-prints and copper etchings. The screen-prints featured an image of our archaeological work, some of us had geophysics maps and others had cave paintings, I decided to use our Connected Past logo designed by Ian Kirkpatrick. I was not very good but my friends and the artists were kind to me. As you can see from the etch in the figure, I really tried to do something artsy with my work but could not really get away from tying everything down to points and lines.
Overall, it was an exhilarating experience. It really forced me to act quick and make decisions on how to represent my archaeology in an instant. It was more an action-filled trial and error process, completely different to our ‘let’s think long and hard about how to best do this’ process that is so common in the archaeology office. The result was that we got to go home with about twenty prints each! Compared to my normal 20 words-a-day this was probably the most productive day of my life.
I believe we will collaborate more often with the Winchester School of Art in the future and I am really looking forward to it!
You can read a full review of our group’s experience on the SotonDH blog.
February 7, 2013
Southampton made the news last week with some of our scanning work. It turns out we have a massive room-sized scanner (misleadingly called a MICRO-CT scanner) at our imaging centre. It is capable of scanning stuff with a resolution of less than 0.1mm and given its size it can do this for quite big objects. Our Archaeological Computing Research Group could not wait to get their hands on this new toy, and collaborated with the British Museum to scan a large cauldron excavated at Chiseldon. The cauldron itself is actually not excavated since it is too fragile. Instead, the archaeologists lifted the big find encased in its soil matrix to preserve it until technologies come along that can tell us more about this fragile find. It seems that this time has now come! With this scanner the archaeologists were able to explore the cauldron by looking through the earth layers without excavating it.
Have a look at the video and read the article on the BBC website.
November 21, 2012
The authors of Cytoscape, a software platform for the analysis and visualisation of networks, have just published an overview of Cytoscape plugins in Nature Methods. Although many of these plugins might be most relevant for biological networks, there might be some original and useful Humanities applications to be developed as well. The overview covers 152 plugins, that should be plenty for the more creative among us to explore and play around with.
Cytoscape is open-source software for integration, visualization and analysis of biological networks. It can be extended through Cytoscape plugins, enabling a broad community of scientists to contribute useful features. This growth has occurred organically through the independent efforts of diverse authors, yielding a powerful but heterogeneous set of tools. We present a travel guide to the world of plugins, covering the 152 publicly available plugins for Cytoscape 2.5–2.8. We also describe ongoing efforts to distribute, organize and maintain the quality of the collection.