Another successful dig season at Tall al=’Umayri has come and gone. Land ownership troubles didn’t stop us from getting some questions answered and some squares completely documented. It’s hard to think about how this may have been our last season at ‘Umayri, but at least, it was a good one.
Going forward, I can only hope we find a way to continue our excavations at ‘Umaryi. The site has been under excavation since 1984 (just like me!), and it would be a shame to see the excavations closed when there’s still so many questions to be answered, so many squares to be excavated, and so much history left to find. Continue reading Umayri 2016
Since I can’t be everywhere and shouldn’t be the only one having fun photographing life with the Tall al-‘Umayri crew, I hold a seasonal photo contest with ice cream as the prize!
Participants can compete in four categories: archaeological, camp life, portraits, and landscapes. Since everyone submitted such amazing photos this year, we were able to treat all the contestants to ice cream! If you want to see the winners & runners up, head to the official ‘Umayri weekly reports to check them out!
When I started doing archaeological photography, I didn’t have much to go on. There weren’t many articles online at the time, so when it came time to build my equipment, I opted to buy what I knew I’d need for portrait photography and hope for the best.
It worked out, since most of what I do is portrait and art photography relies on what I ended up selecting, but there were some things that turned out to be more useful than others. So if you’d like to know what I haul halfway around the world to get quality artifact photographs, read on! Continue reading The Archaeological Photographer’s Equipment List
As an archaeologist, sometimes I can’t help musing about what items we use today will become artifacts that future archaeologists uncover. The artifacts we find when we dig up ancient sites largely fall into four categories: stone, bone, metal, and ceramic. The ceramic pieces are very rarely intact, with various vessels breaking into chunks under the pressure soil, seasons, and the long passage of time. We call these chunks “sherds” and we find tonnes of them.
But being archaeological artifacts, they stay hidden behind the scenes, analyzed by archaeologists and left out of the public eye unless they can be refitted into a near-complete vessel. The cracked and reformed pieces seen in museums are extraordinarily rare, and the orphaned sherds are extraordinarily common. Continue reading The Making of Artifacts
Archaeological sites are precious things. They lie safe underground forgotten for generations until some intrepid archaeologists come and carefully expose them. As an archaeologist myself, I’ve often wondered why we do this, especially given some of the consequences.
As you might recall, last year I hiked out to Lille, Alberta with my boyfriend and a friend of mine (the former has worked at ‘Umayri in 2012, the latter is a trained archaeologist). We marvelled at the beauty of the site, decayed, but still shining in its own right. It had been a long day of hiking to try to find Lille in the first place. The directions I found on other websites were vague. We had been determined to find it, though, and eventually did stumble upon the stone foundations and abandoned coke ovens that personify Lille. Continue reading ‘Umayri 2014: Photography & Conservation
Every two years, I pack my cameras, lenses, and some studio equipment and make my way to Jordan for the summer. It isn’t for a vacation though, it’s for a solid 1.5 months of archaeological photography while I work for the Madaba Plains Project’s ‘Umayri site.
My relationship with ‘Umayri began in 2006 when I worked on the dig as part of my archaeology degree. I’ve always had an interest in the Middle East, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to dig through a (mostly) Bronze & Iron Age site. Continue reading ‘Umayri 2014: Structure from Motion
In my mail this morning, I found a lovely magazine article about the new Center for Near Eastern Archaeology at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. Central to the operations of this new facility is Tall ‘Umayri – the dig site I photograph artifacts & activities for every two years.
For those who were following our progress on Facebook during the 2012 season, you might notice a familiar photograph in the article – one I took of our whole group on top of Umayri’s reconstructed four-room house. Continue reading Madaba Plains Project featured in La Sierra University Magazine
Next Wednesday, I’ll be delivering a talk on archaeological photography in the Archaeology Department at the University of Calgary as part of their Noon Hour Lecture series. For more information, check out the poster above.