#CFP Communicating the Past in the Digital Age

Digital methods for teaching and learning in Archaeology

12-13th of October 2018, CoDArchLab, Institute of Archaeology, University of Cologne, Germany


This two-day international symposium aims to bring together scholars that use and develop digital tools and methods for communicating archaeological information to students, peers and the public.


This meeting is financially supported by a grant from the Stifterverband and the ministry of culture and science of North Rhine-Westphalia. Travel expenses for those presenting a paper at the symposium will normally be covered. Prospective participants should submit a 500-word abstract in English including title, author name(s), affiliation(s), email, place of residence (for calculating travel expenses) and 3 – 5 keywords. Abstracts should be sent to s.hageneuer and e.paliou by the 30th of June 2018.


abstract for CDH 2018

Centre for Digital Heritage meeting 2018:
3D archives, (re)use and Knowledge production, Lund 18–20 June 2018

Our abstract:

Integrating 3d Models and GIS for Digital Cultural Heritage

Recent advances in technology have helped make the capture and modelling of 3D digital cultural objects increasingly affordable. Ever growing numbers of cultural institutions have been digitizing their digital artefacts and sites. Regards the availability of 3D geometric modelling methods and 3D file formats, there are hundreds to choose from. However, an extremely challenging task is to identify the most appropriate 3D geometric modelling method and file format for the specific purposes of digital cultural heritage. In order to overcome those challenges, this paper first summarizes the most-common 3D geometric modelling methods such as constructive solid geometry, non-uniform rational B-splines, triangle meshes, and discusses their advantages, disadvantages and their typical application in the digital cultural heritage domain. Second, various 3D file formats are systematically analysed and discussed, with particular reference to architecture, to archaeology and to heritage studies. Third, future possibilities of 3D file formats and their potential for linking with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial databases are outlined. What are the successful exemplars but also major challenges for linking GIS, 3D models and heritage aims? Where do these modelling methods, formats, aims and disciplines converge or diverge? Would such combinations create major problems for archives?

Keywords: 3D geometric modelling, 3D file formats, 3D archives, digital cultural heritage

Ikrom Nishanbaev, Erik Champion, Hafizur Rahaman, Mafkereseb Bekele

Microsoft Academic Search

LSE has written positively about the “bibliometric super power” potential of https://academic.microsoft.com/

It took me a while to collate papers and it is not quite as exhaustive in finding citations as Google Scholar (for me, at least) but it lists conferences etc you have published in and direct links to papers that have recently cited you (Google Scholar does not, directly). So, all in all, quite good I thought.

https://academic.microsoft.com/#/profile/ErikChampion is my initial test.


Digital Humanities Research Infrastructures in Australia

Thanks to Curtin’s Faculty of Humanities and Computational Institute I attended the Australian Academy of Humanities 2 day Humanities Arts and Culture Data Summit, 14-15 March, hosted by the AHA https://www.humanities.org.au/ at the National Film and Sound Archive (NSFA), Canberra.

The below is from a brief report but may be of interest to those who’d like a quick guide to what is happening regards digital humanities research infrastructures at a National level in Australia.


Quick guide to social sciences/sciences platforms and RIs

  • Dr John La Salle, Director, Atlas of Living Australia https://www.ala.org.au/ biodiversity data
  • Dr Merran Smith, Chief Executive, Population Health Research Network http://www.phrn.org.au/
  • Andrew Gilbert, General Manager, Bioplatforms http://www.bioplatforms.com/andrew-gilbert/
  • Professor Bert Roberts, Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, 1 year into Centre of Excellence https://epicaustralia.org.au/  “Now is the time to tell a culturally inclusive, globally significant human and environmental history of Australia. We like to call it, Australia’s Epic Story. The ARC Centre of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) will undertake research that will safeguard our national heritage, transform research culture, connect with communities and inform policy.”


  • Professor Linda Barwick FAHA, University of Sydney – PARADISEC http://www.paradisec.org.au/ has funding issues but well respected, may require more computing to scale. “PARADISEC (the Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures) is a digital archive of records of some of the many small cultures and languages of the world”
  • Professor Julian Meyrick, Flinders University – AusStage http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehl/firth/focus/digitalhumanitiesanderesearch/ausstage.cfm “AusStage provides an accessible online resource for researching live performance in Australia. Development is led by a consortium of universities, government agencies, industry organisations and collecting institutions with funding from the Australian Research Council and other sources.”
  • Professor Mark Finnane FASSA FAHA, Griffith University – Prosecution Project https://prosecutionproject.griffith.edu.au/ “The criminal trial is the core of the Australian criminal justice system. It is the product of police investigation and its outcomes include the sentences of imprisonment that populate our prisons.” It is an impressive historical database. Overseas law researchers and historians (UK etc.) use it because it is better than theirs, apparently.
  • Alexis Tindall, Research Engagement Specialist – Humanities and Social Sciences Data Enhanced Virtual Lab (HASS DEVL https://www.ersa.edu.au/1-1-million-funding-humanities-arts-social-sciences-data-enhanced-virtual-lab/ “Humanities, Arts and Social Science researchers will get access to cutting-edge online tools and services thanks to $1.1 million in new funds for a collaborative virtual laboratory project. The Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) Data Enhanced Virtual Lab (DEVL) will bring together fragmented data, tools and services into a shared workspace.”

Others included (but there were more)

  • Adam Bell https://aiatsis.gov.au/ (very good talk on problems funding and running archives), Canberra. “The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is a world-renowned research, collections and publishing organisation. We promote knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories, past and present.”
  • Roxanne Missingham, University Librarian, Australian National University, showed the library books destroyed by flood, said to applause that infrastructure included people.
  • Alison Dellit, Assistant Director-General, National Collections Access, National Library of Australia. Discussed the National Library’s Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/ “Find and get over 569,383,366 Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more”)
  • Professor Rachel Fensham, Chief Investigator Social and Cultural Informatics Platform, University of Melbourne https://scip.unimelb.edu.au/about “SCIP responds to current demand and future growth in the digital humanities, arts, and social sciences by providing the necessary informatics skills and technology platforms to support researchers, research students and strategic research activities.”



new Book Chapter (Arqueología Computacional)

My new chapter, A Schematic Division of Game-Learning Strategies Relevant to Digital Archaeology and Digital Cultural Heritage (in Spanish) is out. Diego the editor informed me he will see if all chapters can be available via PDF.

Champion, E. (2017). Una división esquemática de estrategias de aprendizaje relevantes para el patrimonio cultural basadas en juegos digitales (A Schematic Division of Game-Learning Strategies Relevant to Digital Archaeology and Digital Cultural Heritage). In D. Jiménez-Badillo (Ed.), Arqueología Computacional. Nuevos enfoques para el análisis y la difusión del patrimonio cultural (pp. 217-224). México: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, RedTDPC, CONACYT. Chapter 14_Champion_PDF




Notes: paucity of architectural theory in virtual place design

Learning from essentialism in architecture:

Essentialist Polemics in Architectural History, 2006:

…major architectural theories are fundamentally representational, and can be summarized as theories of semiotics, empathic projection, material symbolism (as tectonic glorification, or territorial protectionism), or as reflections of a community (and the related notion of archaeological structuration). This paper will argue that even if there are particular features of architectural design not shared by other related disciplines, that the above major theories, (as well as non-representational formalist theory), are all open to an accusation of impoverished essentialism…I suggest the followingargument: that with one notable exception, major architectural theories are fundamentally re-presentational. These theories can be summarizedas theories of semiotics, empathic projection, ma-terial symbolism (as tectonic glorification, or territo-rial protectionism), or as reflections of a community(and the related notion of archaeological structu-ration).The above classification of these theories is to high-light problems common to architectural aesthetics

One does not have to be essentialist about essentialist theories in architecture, one can mix match and modulate

These theories avoid discussing architecture intertwined with a sense of place, they concentrate on representation and form (see Wittgenstein, Family Resemblance argument).

19thC architectural theory started addressing changes in style and the role of empathy but was overtaken by industrialization, painting and sculpture and light-weight furniture, industrial, portable, stackable.

(Mention in passing the advantages and disadvantages of Horta, and Gaudi).

When you consider all the aspects of building buildings and how so many other disciplines are involved, it is still hard to extract the relationship and inter-relationship of architecture as building meaningful places and inter-places.

Architecture also pioneered the use of transition spaces, interstitial places, and objects that created transitional viewing and acting spaces/translucent and perforated visual barriers and so on (mention here Villa Mairea, Asplund’s diaphanous work inspired by Strindberg’s set design in A Ghost Play.., the transitional wall in Utzon’s housing estates)

Virtual places typically lack transitional spaces, breathing areas, the diaphanous, the moulded, in brief, the interplaces. They concentrate on form, colour, light.

Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships FREE preprint chapters

Preprint versions of chapters appearing in Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships: A Critical Examination of Labor, Network, and Community. Eds. Robin Kear and Kate Joranson. Chandos, 2018.

Final versions of all chapters appear in the published version of the book, available here:

Introduction, Robin Kear and Kate Joranson: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/33818/

Chapter 2: “Our Marathon: The Role of Graduate Student and Library Labor In Making The Boston Bombing Digital Archive” by Jim McGrath and Alicia Peaker. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M62Z8Fht

Chapter 3: “Digital Humanities as Public Humanities: Transformative Collaboration in Graduate Education.” by Laurie N. Taylor, Poushali Bhadury, Elizabeth Dale, Randi K. Gill-Sadler, Leah Rosenberg, Brian W. Keith, Prea Persaud: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00048267/00001

Chapter 4: “Exploring the Moving Image: The Role of Audiovisual Archives as Partners for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage Institutions” by Adelheid Heftberger. In Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships: A Critical Examination of Labor, Network, and Community, edited by Robin Kear and Kate Joranson, Chandos, 2018, 45-57. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M66S19

Chapter 6: Glass, E. R. (2018). Engaging the knowledge commons: setting up virtual participatory spaces for academic collaboration and community. In Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships: A Critical Examination of Labor, Network, and Community. UC San Diego. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6zp934sm

Chapter 7: Miller, Karen, Erik Champion, Lise Summers, Artur Lugmayr, and Marie Clarke. 2018. “Chapter 7 – The Role of Responsive Library Makerspaces in Supporting Informal Learning in the Digital Humanities.” In Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships, 91-105. Chandos Publishing. Retrieved from https://maker.library.curtin.edu.au/book-chapter-published/

Chapter 10: “Digital Humanities as Community Engagement: The Digital Watts Project” by Melanie Hubbard and Demrot Ryan: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/librarian_pubs/93/

Chapter 11: Russell, Beth. “The Collaborative Project Management Model: Akkasah, an Arab Photography Project.” Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships: A Critical Examination of Labor, Network, and Community, edited by Robin Kear and Kate Joranson, Chandos, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2451/41680