TAG 2011: Narrating the Gap Between Observation and Visualisation


My collegue and friend Catriona Cooper and I are currently looking for papers for our session at the upcoming Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference 2011 – 14th to 16th December, Birmingham (http://centraltag.wordpress.com/) related to the following topic,

Narrating the Gap Between Observation and Visualisation

“It can be argued that all archaeological research begins with the creation of the archaeological record and continues with the production of a series of narratives. This session will think about this relationship and consider the extent to which visualisation links the two. Such a link can relate explicitly to experience, through phenomenology, or mediated by illustration, survey, creative media or computer graphics.

Carefully recorded at any level all archaeological observations are concerned with the sites as they stand today. We wish to explore the mechanisms for producing complimentary reconstructive narratives whether these are creative, data driven or interpretative.

This session seeks to bridge this gap between the observations underlying the archaeological record and the multiple reconstructions of the past, by considering what the term ‘reality’ can mean in either context. The gap between observation and the narrative leaves an area of dialogue between what is considered the ‘real’ of the present site and the ‘real’ of the reconstructed past and how it is experienced. The process of interpretation produces many questions concerning how our interpretive influence affects the integrity of the captured record, the control of experience and the ways in which we model uncertainty.”

Abstracts should be emailed directly to the organisers (either myself or Catriona), the deadline is the 31st October.


(yours truly!) Alice Watterson
Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art

Catriona Cooper
School of Archaeology, University of Southampton

Although our own area of research is specifically focussed in archaeological computing, we will gladly welcome papers with a more creative or analogue focus as our interest is not solely with the media itself, but the processes which occur during the interpretation of a dataset and the ways of managing the subjective decisions made.

Don’t be shy now, roll up roll up and get involved! It’s going to be a good-un!


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