ANTH258 - VISUALIZING THE PAST

Most people's information about the Past is drawn from coffee table picture books, popular movies, video games, documetaries about discoveries of "ancient, mysterious, and lost" civilations, and tours often led by guides of limited or even dubious credentials. How are these ideas presented, formed, and circulated? Who creates and selects the information presented in this diverse media? Are these presentations accurate? Do they promote or hurt scientific explanations? Can the artisitic, aesthetic, and scientific realms be bridged to effectively promote the past? This class will focus on case studies and critiques of how archaeology and the past are created, presented and used in movies, museums, games, the internet, and art. In addition to exploring general concepts of archaeology and the media, students will work in teams to produce an interactive, digital media exhibit using the latest modeling and augmented reality programs for the new archaeological museum at the UNESCO World Heritage stie of Tiwanaku, Bolivia. Although nearly abandoned for a millennium and sacked by treasure hunters, the ruins are considered one of the most important archaeological sites in South America and visited by 45,000 tourists a year. Potential class projects include fly throughs of architectural renderings, simulations of the design and engineering the pyramids, temples, and palaces, modeling of human behavior within architectural settings, and studying artifacts in the Penn Museum. The results will be displayed in the Tiwanaku Museum and will serve to introduce visitors to the site.
Section 401 - LEC
M 0600PM-0900PM
ERICKSON, CLARK LOWDEN
BADLER, NORMAN I
TOWNE BUILDING 309