This fascinating and innovative project seeks to give users the experience of how statues (and their inscribed bases) constituted a collective memory among those who participated in the ritual space of the Late-Antique Roman Forum. The PI of “Visualizing Statues” is Diana Favro of UCLA, with Chris Johanson as CI and Gregor Kalas as Fellow; it was developed in UCLA’s Experiental Technologies Center, with the support of the NEH. The site is a model for a smooth interface between 3-d visualization of ancient monuments in their spatial context; 2-d plans of urban spaces; material culture, including statues bases with inscriptions; a timeline, between 284 and 526 CE; and even literary sources, namely Claudian’s portrait of the emperor Honorius’s Consular Procession in 404 CE, a compelling description of Late-Antique imperial ceremony used as a textual basis for framing the experience of the online audience. Continue reading
As museums digitize their collections, institutional stewards of excavation records are also slowly moving them online, as part of a much broader effort within archaeology to effectively manage and publish data. For Late Antique archaeology, a major initial step has been taken with the publication of photographs from the excavations at Antioch-ad-Orontes (and its suburb, Daphne), under the general direction of Charles Rufus Morey, Chair of Princeton’s Department of Art and Archaeology, between 1932 and 1939. Continue reading
1977 was not only the year of Star Wars, it also heralded the Age of Spirituality! As a follow up to the recent post on Byzantium and Islam, a special exhibit from 2012 with a permanent web presence, I note here that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made available for download a true monument of scholarship on early Christianity and Late Antiquity, produced in conjunction with one of the most important special exhibits ever (“hailed as one of the most important didactic exhibitions ever assembled by an art museum”), The Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century (Nov. 19, 1977-Feb. 12 1978). Continue reading
Museums large and small are not only digitizing their inventories; many now also create permanent websites for special exhibitions. An excellent example of the latter is “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition,” at the Met between March 14 and July 8 2012, one of the best presentations of the material culture of later Late Antiquity, which brought the now widespread academic trend of viewing early Islam within its historical context to a wider audience; Continue reading
This blog, run by the Nubiologists Alexandros Tsakos and Henriette Hafsaas-Tsakos, contains a number of interesting reflections on the medieval Nubian kingdoms, as well as their archaeological work, which is affiliated with the Sai Island Archaeological Mission at the Université Charles-de-Gaulle in Lille. Their thoughtful posts address major questions of methodology and interpretation in Nubian studies, including the state of the sources, whether in Western museums or endangered sites in modern Sudan. Both philological and archaeological topics are covered. The blogs from the field offer a fascinating, vivid portrait of the region.
This ground-breaking project, undertaken between 1997 and 2005 at the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory, under the direction of Bernard Frischer and Diane Favro, still remains the most important visual reference for the Roman Forum, a useful archive of literary and iconographic sources, and a standard for online visualization projects of ancient sites. The Digital Roman Forum project aims to reconstruct the appearance of the Forum in Late Antiquity (400 CE), on a building-by-building basis. The reconstruction of each monument is presented as a series of still images from various perspectives, as well as Panorma and Object movies; bibliographic information is included as well. Continue reading
This large bibliographical database covers all periods from the Roman Empire to the present. Late Antiquity, with the development of the Christian Holy Land, is well represented. Like the Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity, it is hosted at Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity. The bibliography can be browsed alphabetically by author, year, era (Roman Palestine, Byzantine Palestine, Islamic Period, Crusaders, Mamluk Period, Ottoman Period, and Modernity), or according to a very large number of keywords based on tags for each entry, a feature that offers significant searching power. Continue reading