Category Archives: News/thoughts

News and general thoughts

This post is about the marvellous rock paintings of the Latmos Mountains, the range in western Turkey today known as Beşparmak. These prehistoric paintings (6th-5th mill. BCE) have the human being as part of a society as the main subject and are unique. Harald Hauptmann described the paintings as follows:

The singular pictorial language of Latmic rock art represents a new world of religious symbols of a society that had become settled and lived increasingly from farming and stock-breeding. This new form of life which spread from the mountainous periphery of the Fertile Crescent, the southern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia through Central Anatolia to the West in the Aegean to Europe, found its special expression in the Latmic rock pictures quite unlike anywhere else in Anatolia.

Unfortunately, the rock paintings are threatened with destruction by the constant expansion of stone quarries in this area. This exploitation has increased dramatically in recent times, so that now not only parts of the wonderful pine forests and fascinating rocky landscape have been damaged, but also sites of rock paintings are endangered too.

You can help to make the Turkish government aware of the situation. There is a petition at Change.org where you can sign and help with the rescue of the Latmos Mountains. We totally support this matter as the Latmic rock paintings are endangered and need to be protected. Furthermore, we know the people behind the petition and can attest there seriousness and dedication. If you are interested, you can learn everything about the rock paintings on the official website, before you sign the petition.

Official website: http://latmos-felsbilder.de/
Change.org petition: https://www.change.org/

One of our older projects, the illustration that explains an archaeological trench (see above), has found another use. Last Friday, Birge Tezner from audio Konzept was using our illustration in a reading for children, that was held in the book store BuchSegler in Berlin. She was promoting her new audio book “Fred im Reich der Nofretete“.

She told us, that the children were most interested and started to search for finds on the illustration, even after the reading had started. We are happy that we could help out and if you are interested in a very well done audio book (German), check out the websites above. Kindly, Birge provided us with some pictures of the reading.

Photo: © Martin König

Photo: © Rupert Schellenberger

It has been a while since our last post, but a lot has happened and time flew by. We did do a lot of work at the end of last year and actually moved our office to a new co-working space with friendly colleagues! You can find us now under a new address and reach us under a new telephone number:

ARTEFACTS Berlin
Motzstr. 63
10777 Berlin
phone: +49 (0)30 / 556 420 53

As for work, we are still reconstructing of course. At the moment, we are working on a reconstruction of a residential building in Ḥabūba Kabīra-South. We hope, we can present some results soon, as this is rather a small building in comparison to the Uruk material.

I already reported on my presentation at the CHNT18 about the Uruk visualisations. I am currently writing the corresponding article for it and will make the result available here, as soon as it is edited and public. In this sense, we wish everyone a (late) good start into 2014!

From the 11th to the 13th of November, the conference about “Cultural Heritage and New Technologies” were held for the 18th time in Vienna. I took part with a contribution about the Uruk visualisations and more importantly, how we should perceive and communicate virtual reconstructions.

I learned really a lot the last few days. I was actually not aware what Photogrammetry is capable of and how detailed and effortless one can document and visualise an archaeological trench or distinct features. A very impressive presentation was given by Andrea Braghiroli, who used actually very simple methods to document a small temple-shrine in 3D. The results were very impressive and as far as I understood, it was all done with freeware.

Another interesting talk was given by Isto Huvila, who talked about the usability of information and did this by the simple example of a ball-point pen. He demonstrated, that even with something we already know, it is very difficult to attribute function to it. Why should we do this more correctly with archaeological data, which we definitely know less?

Mohammad Nabil from Egypt presented a very good way of utilising 360° panoramic views for heritage documentation. When you record in 3D it obviously is always a problem, that the sun creates uneven illuminated faces. If you record over a period of time, the sun moves and the photographs become very inhomogeneous. By simply recording at different times and overlay the pictures on top of another, he overcame that problem very easily.

These are just a few examples of the talks I have heard, but the general tendency of the conference was different kinds of data acquisition. As impressive as that was, in my opinion it lacked the theoretical background. As I am no specialist in data acquisition, one could argue, that the theoretical background is already in everybody’s mind. Still, I missed at least some remarks about the meaning of that technology for archaeology and a theoretical background for using it.

Nevertheless, I had a very interesting and informative time. I realized that, although it was not a very big conference (maybe 60 people?), all the specialists for that topic from around the world were summoned here. It was a bit nerdy some times, but in a very good way.

Yesterday, I was at the LWL-Museum in Herne to install and check our animations for the exhibition. The preparations are already pretty advanced and the exhibition looks really good! Herne has a lot more space than Berlin had; the exhibition is actually taking up a whole hall. I had a very nice day in the museum yesterday and was also able to go through the permanent exhibition, which is one of the best I’ve seen.

The Uruk exhibition will re-open on the 3rd of November and stay until the 21st of April 2014. That means you have plenty of time to visit “Uruk – 5.000 years of the megacity”, as well as the permanent exhibition. If you want more updates on the museum, you can also check out their Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Photo: © Sebastian Hageneuer with the permission of the LWL-Museum in Herne


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