Do you know the best way to express, share and discuss your ideas with the wider public? We’d like to suggest that it’s through the use of digital tools which enable you to present different perspectives, while encouraging others to participate in the acceleration of knowledge. In our Memphis Site and Community Development (MSCD) project, we use a variety of digital tools, trying to find the best way to achieve our many targets.
For instance, sometimes we are looking to present heritage to visitors, stimulating their imaginations about the past at Memphis. Digital tools are very useful for us in this case, even if it’s the first time that we, as archaeologists, are using them. At Memphis’ Hathor Temple, most of the original architecture is still buried underground, such that we only see the top parts. Digital media can help us not only to imagine the temple as it might have looked in the past, but also to propose a visitor circuit around the site, helping others to involve themselves with the visible pieces of the monuments. Moreover, these tools allow for precision, helping archaeologists and Egyptologists to create accurate images in a very short time.
Examples of a few of the digital tools we are applying are as follows:
In our opinion, Google Earth is one of the best free satellite imaging services on the web. For all of us in Group D of FS2, it was our first time using Google Earth, and it had an endless array of benefits. For example, it helped us to locate the different landmarks at Memphis and connect these by identifying paths and a visitor circuit that could be created between the Memphis Open Air Museum, Hathor Temple, Apis House and Ptah Temple. We also marked out proposed site facilities and related features of interest to visitors from around the area adjacent to Memphis. These will form the basis of suggestions about relevant businesses and other services to be promoted through the project.
We made an animated site tour using this feature on Google Earth, which we showed in a presentation to our colleagues and which we assume will be of interest to future visitors as an explanation of the walking circuit.
A proposal for the visitor circuit at Memphis made by Sara and her supervisor Samar as part of MSCD Field school 2, November 2015.
Sketch-up has proven a very useful program for us with many design features that will allow us to create models.
Anyone can create these models from their own home or elsewhere.
As with Google Earth, it is our first time using Sketch-up, and it enabled us to find and download models that we wished to use, as well as build structures of our own in different shapes.
Sketch-up has served many purposes for us. As Hathor Temple is still mostly buried beneath the ground, we can only see the tops of its columns today. So we’ve used these as the basis for a model, visualizing and shaping the original temple in order to picture it as it might have been in the past. We designed its buildings and settlement remains.
In Sketch-up we learnt to import files, plans and images. In the end, it proved quite easy to learn and is a very powerful modelling tool. Indeed, it seems to be used by many architects for comparable purposes. You can download it for free on the web and give it a try!
The image featured at the top of this blog post is a Google Sketch-up model of Hathor Temple, as envisioned by Shahenda, from MSCD Field School 2, December 2015.
Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook & Twitter are among the most popular social media tools in the world. They allow us to share with others our interests, ask questions, and solicit opinions from the public; exchanging messages, uploading photos, and linking to different people and things. We can also use them to share media created by others, like videos and posts from friends.
Most of us used social media for personal purposes and sharing general information with others, making comments and asking for counsel! However, we’d never used them in business or for work purposes. It was our first time making posts speaking about scientific or academic information in evocative ways so as to attract visitors, scholars, archeologists, students and other audiences.
Our work and skills developed to help us achieve our goals. We learnt how to begin our sentences with catchy introductions to encourage readers to engage. We learnt about how to implement and regulate our use of Facebook and Twitter, including how to write a clear social media policy. We learnt about copyright ownership, and we became more aware of the risks of copyright.
So we would like to encourage our colleagues to learn to share their knowledge and academic background through these excellent digital tools using their imagination and influence.