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How Do We Want the Past to Be?


On Methods and Instruments of Visualizing Ancient Reality


How Do We Want the Past to Be? The question is not purely rhetoric: rather, it points out the importance of how archaeologists deal with the interpretation and visualization of the past that they excavate and study. The essays in this book offer a contribution to the current debate on archaeology and the contemporary methodological approaches to the study of ancient Near Eastern architecture.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0544-7
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 19,2015
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 175
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0544-7
$99.00
$59.40

This volume collects both presentations made on the occasion of a panel organized at the North American Theoretical Archaeological Group, held at the University of Buffalo in 2012, and other invited contributions on the same subject. The papers present the diverse attitudes of archaeologists and art historians in dealing with the visualization of the ancient Near Eastern architectural and material reality.

The contributions aim at analysing how ancient architectures and urban space have been recovered and excavated, how the results of those excavations have been presented and their reception in the visual arts.

Taking into consideration the way the ancient architecture has been represented through old and new media—thus starting from the most ancient examples of drawings up to the most recent computer-based graphics and creations—it is reasonably time to ask how we want to represent the past and, as a consequence, why we want it that way or another. The analyses in the book also point to the recent debate on the nature and use of 3D reconstructions and virtual reality with the creation of new models and informatics devices: does new technology solve the problems of interpreting and visualizing the archaeological evidences? Beyond technical and aesthetic differences, essays show how archaeologists are still dealing with the same set of problems in projecting a reconstruction of what is either badly preserved or irremediably lost.

This volume collects both presentations made on the occasion of a panel organized at the North American Theoretical Archaeological Group, held at the University of Buffalo in 2012, and other invited contributions on the same subject. The papers present the diverse attitudes of archaeologists and art historians in dealing with the visualization of the ancient Near Eastern architectural and material reality.

The contributions aim at analysing how ancient architectures and urban space have been recovered and excavated, how the results of those excavations have been presented and their reception in the visual arts.

Taking into consideration the way the ancient architecture has been represented through old and new media—thus starting from the most ancient examples of drawings up to the most recent computer-based graphics and creations—it is reasonably time to ask how we want to represent the past and, as a consequence, why we want it that way or another. The analyses in the book also point to the recent debate on the nature and use of 3D reconstructions and virtual reality with the creation of new models and informatics devices: does new technology solve the problems of interpreting and visualizing the archaeological evidences? Beyond technical and aesthetic differences, essays show how archaeologists are still dealing with the same set of problems in projecting a reconstruction of what is either badly preserved or irremediably lost.

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Contributor Biography

Maria Gabriella Micale

Maria Gabriella Micale is currently Post-Doc at TOPOI-Excellence Cluster in Berlin and archaeologist member of the Italian Archaeological Expedition in Tell Mardikh/Ebla (Syria). She holds an MA and a PhD from the Sapienza University of Rome. She is author of "L'Immagine dell'architettura nel rilievo storico neoassiro" (=CMAO 14), 2011, Rome, and published articles about ancient Near Eastern architecture and images of architecture, archaeological drawings and modern reception of ancient architecture.

Davide Nadali

Davide Nadali is Researcher in Near Eastern Archaeology at the Sapienza University of Rome. He holds a Ph.D. from the Sapienza University of Rome in 2006 and since 2014 he is co-diretcor of the Italian Archaeological Expedition to Nigin in Southern Iraq. He has written several articles on Assyrian art and archaeology.

Federico Buccellati

David Kertai

Brigitte Pedde

Friedhelm Pedde

Donald Sanders

Sarah Scott

Ann Shafer

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Introduction (page 7)
  • Working on Old Near Eastern Excavations (Friedhelm Pedde) (page 13)
  • Mesopotamia: A Source of Inspiration for Architecture in the 20th Century (Brigitte Pedde) (page 33)
  • Imagining Second Stories in Late Assyrian Palaces: Tthe architectural reconstructions of James Fergusson and Jean-Claude Margueron (David Kertai) (page 55)
  • Re-Envisioning Information: The Maps We Make of Ancient Assyrian Palaces (Ann Shafer) (page 83)
  • The (Dis)Embodiment of Architecture: Reflections on the Mirroring Effects of Virtual Reality (Davide Nadali) (page 95)
  • Imagining Architectural Space: Methodological Approaches for Assyrian Palaces (Sarah Jarmer Scott) (page 113)
  • The Present and Future of Virtual Heritage (Donald H. Sanders) (page 147)
  • What Might a Field Archaeologist Want from an Architectural 3D Model? (Federico Buccellati) (page 163)
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