Monday, August 19, 2013

Gabii Goes Digital

gabii goes digital logoGabii Goes Digital

A new project working to make 3D models a core part of our publication record and to promote their acceptance as basic data within the archaeological community.

We are pleased to announce that the Universities of Arkansas and Michigan have been awarded an NEH ODH Start-Up grant in support of the Gabii Goes Digital: 21st c. Data, 21st. c. Publications project. This project is directed by Fred Limp and Rachel Opitz of the University of Arkansas and Nicola Terrenato of the University of Michigan, and is closely linked to the Gabii Project.

Methodological innovation has always been important at Gabii. Our recording strategy makes extensive use of digital data and 3D technologies. Since 2009, over 500 GB of data have been collected in the form of 3D models of stratigraphic layers and features such as walls, pavements and burials, photographs, surveyed measurements, written descriptions and sketches. Having created this rich digital dataset, we face the challenge of developing effective and innovative ways of publishing it. The Gabii Goes Digital project seeks to address two key challenges our project and others like it are facing: how to develop a process for the peer reviewed publication of these kinds of data, and how to build a community of peer reviewers with the skills and background to confidently evaluate these publications.

You can read more about the new project on the Gabii Goes Digital website.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Amazing Week 5 concludes Gabii Project 2013

The 2013 Team
The final week of work at Gabii could not be more rewarding! Impressive results were achieved in all departments of the dig, making this a very successful season.

Hut floors emerging in Area F (with students presenting!)
Excavation and recording continued with full steam in both areas D and F. Bedrock was finally reached in the north part of Area D, revealing a series of rock-cut features, such as post-holes and sunken floors, belonging to the earliest phase of occupation beneath the Archaic compound. This horizon has been exposed also in the south sector, where the excavators identified more linear cuts and concentrations of ashy layers that sit on top of a natural level. This sequence will be the object of excavation next year. 

Cleaning new features in Area F
In Area F, more built structures of the monumental complex emerged below the dumps that covered the back of the lower terrace. These features include a very well-preserved drain made of slabs of tufo, and part of the original pavement of this open space. The continuation of the staircase connecting the upper and lower terraces was also uncovered, totaling 21 steps! On axis with this, another room of the complex has been found, which features in its northeast corner a whole dolium sunken into a cut in the bedrock. 
Stepping on a column base

A sondage was excavated in the front part of the building, providing evidence of modifications dating to the Early Imperial period, and exposing tantalizing architecture (including a column base) predating the construction of the building. The west half of the complex will be investigated in 2014.

One of the highlights of the week were certainly the presentations given by the students on their work on site. It was incredibly gratifying to see how much they grew as archaeologists in 5 weeks: they described the sequence they excavated as professional diggers. As every year, the end of dig was celebrated with a big lunch offered on site.

Looking forward to welcoming new participants and returning students next year.

Until then, arrivederci Gabii! 

Nic Terrenato leads the final trench tour in Area F