So here it is: my first post on my first blog! A blog about the past--but also about the present, and by the time of this blog's conclusion 15 months from now, something of the future.
I've just begun a COFUND Research Fellowship with the Dahlem Research School, in affiliation with Excellence Cluster TOPOI and the Institut für Altorientalistik at Freie Universität Berlin. From now until May 2013 I will be undertaking a research project on some of the world's earliest writing and other imagery from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Exciting stuff - if you're in to this sort of thing!
My project is entitled: ‘A Comparative Study of Scribal and Artistic Spaces in Early Egypt and the Ancient Near East: Integrating micro- and macro-scale analyses’. I'll explain more about this in future posts -- about 3 times per week. In addition to a spot of field work in Egypt, I'll be poking around museum basements (love museum archaeology!) as I collect my data, including photographs of hieroglyph-inscribed funerary stelae, seal impressions, cuneiform tablets, decorated vessels, etc.
A key topic on this blog will be the open access digital imaging technology, Reflectance Transformation Imaging(RTI). This is a method of photography which enables the virtual re-lighting of material surfaces and will be a tremendous aid as I research early scribal and artistic use of materials, tools and techniques. I've been using RTI for a while, but the RTI community is growing quickly and new developments in hardware and software are continually emerging. So I will also be posting my general thoughts and views on RTI news and developments.
Well, I've managed to polish off an Eidauer Schwarzbier in the writing - aroma of caramel and roasted malt, not too sweet. A fine blogging companion.