Ancient Muses: Archaeology and the Arts

By John H. Jameson; John E. Ehrenhard et al. | Go to book overview

19
Crafting Cosmos,
Telling Sister Stories, and
Exploring Archaeological
Knowledge Graphically
in Hypertext Environments

Jeanne Lopiparo and Rosemary A. Joyce

In 1994, Rosemary Joyce began a long-term collaboration with two nonarchaeologists on a hypermedia project based on ethnohistoric materials about sixteenth-century Aztec society. Joyce's collaboration on Sister Stories (Joyce et al. 2000) has led her to view hypertext presentation as a potentially powerful medium for the representation of not only archaeological interpretations but of the archaeologist's process of arriving at an understanding of a past society (Joyce 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002).

Over the same period, we have worked as part of UC Berkeley's Multimedia Authoring Center for Teaching in Archaeology (MACTiA, http:// www.mactia.berkeley.edu), teaching undergraduates and graduate students how to use multimedia authoring tools in representing archaeological practice and interpretation. As part of her association with MACTiA, Jeanne Lopiparo developed a prototype hypermedia project, Crafting Cosmos, which pursues our goal of using this new technology to make the process of archaeology more accessible to nonspecialists and specialists alike.

In this chapter we interweave accounts of our goals and strategies in these two works. Both of these works use the possibilities of art to try to convey to those who immerse themselves in these new media a better sense of how as archaeologists we construct tentative, contingent, and multiple interpretations of the past. The works thus both represent something about a possible past and simultaneously enact the creation in the present of representations of possible pasts.

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