I lead (or have led) and collaborate on a variety of digital, engagement, visualisation, museums and site management, and networking-oriented projects with partners in different parts of the world.
Unpath’d Waters: Marine and Maritime Collections in the UK (UNPATH)
A Towards a National Collection project, UNPATH aims to reshape the future of UK marine heritage, making records accessible for the first time across all four UK nations and opening them to the world. It will devise new ways of searching across collections, visualising underwater landscapes, and identifying wrecks and artefacts from them. UNPATH will also invite the public to co-design ways of exploring the archives in order to uncover previously untold stories and new questions to guide future research.
Archaeology Audience Network
Funded by the Culture Recovery Fund from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Archaeology Audience Network is a project that brings together many of the UK’s leading archaeological organisations (Archaeology Data Service, Council for British Archaeology, DigVentures, Oxford Archaeology, Wessex Archaeology, and York Archaeological Trust) to build the most accurate picture to date of the audiences that public and community archaeology attracts and engages with in England and make it freely accessible online. Using this information, partners will work with grassroots community organisations to develop new public and community archaeology activities that reflect the needs and interests of new audiences, deliver training in gathering and using audience data, and produce new best practice guidance on how to collect and apply audience data in future activity.
Making it FAIR: Understanding the lockdown ‘digital divide’ and the implications for the development of UK digital infrastructures
An AHRC / Towards a National Collection funded project following 8 small and medium-sized museums in navigating the challenges of engaging online with audiences during lockdown. Via critical evaluation of current practice in microcosm through online workshops, and a technical gap analysis, the project aims to draw scalable lessons to inform Towards a National Collection’s discovery phase, and AHRC’s infrastructure planning.
A 3-year European Union, Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (funded under grant agreement No 727188) that aims to use emotional storytelling to change how we experience heritage sites. From 2016-2019, the EMOTIVE consortium seeks to research, design, develop and evaluate methods and tools that can support the cultural and creative industries in creating narratives which draw on this power of ’emotive storytelling’. The output of this process will be a number of prototype tools and applications for heritage professionals and visitors that produce interactive, personalized, emotionally resonant digital stories for museums and cultural sites.
Coproduction Networks for Community Heritage in Tanzania (CONCH)
An AHRC-funded network of African and UK-based archaeologists, heritage professionals, and community groups, CONCH aims to explore and develop capacity around recording, conservation, interpretation and education about the built heritage of the East African, or Swahili, coast. Workshops, fieldschools, formal and informal education sessions with schools and children, and the development of digital interpretative resources for Pangani, a town on the northern Tanzanian coast with a rich built heritage of the later Swahili period, form the focus of our activities over the next two years.
Memphis Egypt Site and Community Development Project (MSCD)
A two-year USAID-funded development project at the location of Ancient Egypt’s first capital city, Memphis. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur, the spectacular monuments at this site have been under increasing threat from urban expansion over the past three decades. The MSCD Project aims to create an Ancient Memphis Walking Circuit for tourists to Memphis as part of a wider heritage, outreach and training programme. The project involves documenting and interpreting, cleaning and stabilising an endangered area within the Memphis precinct, while simultaneously training 80 Ministry of Antiquities inspectors and related Egyptian professionals in cultural heritage management and outreach.
Çatalhöyük Visualisation & Interpretation
An interdisciplinary project comprised of researchers and students from York and multiple Turkish universities who oversee the public presentation and interpretation of the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük. Together with community members and local staff, we curate the site’s Visitor’s Centre, its replica houses and on-site displays. We develop content for Çatalhöyük’s online (web and social media) presence. We experiment with the application of new digital visual technologies to elaborate our public and academic interpretation programmes. And we contribute to the longer-term heritage management of Çatalhöyük.
The Heritage Jam
An interdisciplinary showcase and competition seeking to inspire innovation in heritage visualisation. Open to archaeologists, heritage practitioners, historians, artists, animators, designers, programmers, conservators, museums professionals, students and other interested specialists and members of the public, we aim to join people together – either in groups or independently – to experiment with the creation of new, forward-thinking visualisations of the past. Ultimately we seek to foster partnerships, friendships and creative links that push on the boundaries of heritage interpretation, injecting new ideas into the field and growing the heritage industry overall.
Heritage and Play
An informal lunchtime series organized by Colleen Morgan, Neil Gevaux, Gareth Beale and myself to creatively experiment with cultural heritage and expression. Each meeting is loosely structured around a topic, theory, or making session, but focuses on Play as a productive means to engage with heritage in new ways.
Alan Sorrell Project
A pilot study of the archive of the artist and archaeological illustrator, Alan Sorrell. During the mid-20th century, Sorrell produced defining images of many of Britain’s most renowned archaeological sites, and in so doing, arguably helped to transform the institutional and intellectual dimensions of British archaeology. With a neo-Romantic sensibility and a career that included employment by the former Ministry of Works, he stands at the junction of a series of potent conceptual concerns in the discipline—between art and archaeology; academic and broader public consumption; discipline and imagination; scholarship and governmental establishment.
VIA – Visualisation in Archaeology
Visualisation in Archaeology has been established in order to provide a ‘space’ in which high quality research can be undertaken around interrelated themes centred on visual communication in archaeology. Connecting researchers through its web platform, its annual workshops, an international conference scheduled for 2010, its online bibliography and research showcase, and various related outputs, VIA aims to inform professional standards around pictorial practice, investigate viable guidelines for imaging, and, in so doing, articulate an intellectual framework for the visualisation of archaeological data.
Gender and Digital Culture
A study exploring the impact of digital media on everyday professional relationships and communications. A collaboration with Lucy Shipley, Jim Osborne, and Graeme Earl (University of Southampton).
Seeing, Thinking, Doing: Visualisation as Archaeological Research
A forum for debate on visualisation as method, theory, public and professional practice in archaeology. A collaboration with Cat Cooper and Gareth Beale (University of Southampton).
HARN – Histories of Archaeology Research Network
HARN is an inter-university collective of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers dedicated to the study of the histories and philosophies of archaeology. HARN seeks to advance the historical study of the discipline — and of its many outputs and offshoots — via regular meetings at the Society of Antiquaries in London, and the cultivation of relationships between its members and established scholars. New postgraduate and postdoctoral students with research concerns for the discipline’s past are encouraged to join by contacting the network’s email account at harngroup @ googlemail . com
See article on HARN in the Museums and Galleries History Group Newsletter 7: 3 (2008).
SVA – Society for Visual Anthropology
I have an interest in encouraging archaeologists to contribute to the SVA (a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA)) given its truly interdisciplinary nature and its commitment to sponsoring forums (like the annual Visual Research Conference, and its various special event and roundtable sessions at AAA conferences) which aim to help scholars work through in-progress and problematic visual study in open, cooperative settings. I have been involved in SVA events since 2005. I would like to see archaeologists continue to add to the conversation and complicate its analysis.