Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gabine research and the web

The Gabii Project team is a multinational group and is, during the winter and spring, dispersed among many countries, several continents, and quite a few time zones. Despite being in different places, the work of the project goes on as we work not only on post-excavation projects but also on moving various studies to publication. In this off-season work, the project is increasingly aided by the collaborative potential offered by internet platforms; team members routinely confer and meet to discuss research projects and plan excavation strategy and policy for future seasons.

Today, the team tried a new experiment, that being a collaborative research seminar online - thus, webinar. Through the miracle of Skype (thanks, Skype!), we convened for nearly four hours with almost 20 team members for a thought-provoking and stimulating session. We heard reports on various work in progress, including work on the dating and contextualization of Gabii's orthogonal plan (Marcello Mogetta), investigation of recovery rates for metal artifacts (Laura Banducci and Jason Farr), human osteology (Kristina Killgrove), quarrying of the local tufo, lapis Gabinus (Jason Farr), and anthropomorphic terracottas (Chiara Pilo). In addition to these reports we also discussed, thanks to Laura Motta, Marcello Mogetta, and Ivan Cangemi, an ongoing sampling experiment on-site that allows us to consider unit volume and recovery rates for various anthropic and organic materials. 

The webinar was a great success and an excellent case study in harnessing the power of the web to promote collaboration and discussion. The team plans future webinars in the next months to continue our fruitful discussions of this morning.

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