Exploration and Development of New Media applications as part of the Archaeological Research Project at Çatalhöyük, Turkey

Faculty Mentor(s): 
Ruth Tringham (Anthropology)
Student Apprentice(s): 
Elizabeth Lee

Digital technologies are now an integral part of the archaeological process, as shown by the switch from 35mm film to digital cameras to record not only what the archaeologist digs up but also the process of excavation, discourse and interpretation. The integration of these digital technologies is critical to the livelihood of the site and the field of archaeology as a whole. Nowhere is this transformation more evident than the archaeological project to excavate the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, in central Turkey. Çatalhöyük has had an established protocol for digital media since 1998 and is therefore the perfect location to train a new generation of scholars on the process of using new media within archaeology as well as explore new directions in their application. An important theme of the use of digital technology and new media in general at Çatalhöyük is to enrich the wider public’s access to the archaeological process.

The research apprentice Elizabeth Lee, travelled to Çatalhöyük as excavating digital documenter. Lee contributed to the primary database of the Çatalhöyük Archaeological Research Project, the database that forms the basis for publications emanating from the project. Upon returning from the field, the research apprentice continued to refine her contributions to the Çatalhöyük database, at the same time as disseminating her own projects created in various media formats through the MACTiA website. The summer research and the continued research throughout the year culminated in the production of a senior honors thesis for Lee in May 2006.