On the Web

If you’ve seen the “dome” we use in USC’s Archaeology Research Center when making the movable light images, you  know something about John Melzian –  he  designed it.  If you’ve seen the “tarantula” you know something about John too — he transformed it. And if you’ve heard of the adventures of the West Semitic Research Project — whether in the snake-infested desert in Egypt or photographing Dead Sea Scrolls around the world –John was there.

Sadly, John had a heart attack and died while riding his bike on June 29th. He was a longtime friend and a greatly valued colleague. He was the husband of Marilyn Lundberg, associate director of the WSRP and InscriptiFact. There will be a memorial and celebration of John’s life on Friday, July 23rd at 4pm.   See this link for additional details: tiny.cc/johnmelzian

It occurred to me that readers of this blog (because we have such a cult following…) might enjoy seeing the undergraduate research projects that come out of the USC Interdisciplinary Archaeology major. We’ve been slaving away tirelessly, some of us for years, on some fantastic projects. Our final submissions to the Provost Undergraduate Research Symposium are due in 10 minutes, so once everyone scurries over to Doheny at the last second and then takes a moment to calm down, I hope everyone will post links to their online research pages. Not everyone submitted a website to the Symposium, so those you’ll just have to see on Wednesday 🙂

Jenny Crawford: She was last year’s Symposium winner and isn’t submitting this year, but here’s her website anyway! Bringing the Past to Life: Recreating an Ancient Egyptian Gilding Technique

Sarah Hawley: The Iconography of Empire: Political Transition as Demonstrated in the Terracotta Figurines of Tell al-Judaidah

STARCers, please add your websites to this post!

The STARC website!

Yes, we finally have a website for the Society of Trojan Archaeologists. It’s still being modified, but here’s the link!


Check it out!

~Sarah Hawley

So over the past week we seem to have become marginally famous! Not that we weren’t famous before, of course…

The USC College website ran two articles this week about the ARC lab and the research being undertaken here. Check out the links below!

Beaming with Joy: This article discusses the research being undertaken at the Argonne National Laboratory by Professor Lynn Swartz Dodd. She won “beam time” for the second year in a row, allowing her and her team to use a high intensity X-ray to study the makeup of ancient artifacts. The artifacts are the oldest objects ever to be studied with the synchrotron beam.

Exploring the Rise and Demise of Empires: This article is about the research presented by undergraduate Sarah Hawley at the  2010 joint meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and the American Philological Association (APA) in Anaheim. The research focuses on ancient figurines from Tell al-Judaidah and the ways in which the modification of forms reflects empire transition.

Also, Lynn Dodd and our very own archaeology alumna Ashley Sands introduced Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM) imaging technology to the Alalakh excavation in Turkey this summer. This photographic technique allows for high quality imaging of object surfaces in which light can be moved around the photograph. This technique allows researchers to view objects in ways that are impossible using normal photographic equipment or the naked eye. Senior field supervisor Murat Akar published Ashley’s description of the USC team’s contributions on the official Alalakh website, located here.

We are immensely proud of everything that the ARC lab has accomplished. Hopefully you’ll be reading even more about us in the months and years to come!

I officially graduated from the ARC Lab two and a half years ago (oh my gosh–it doesnt feel like that long ago!) But, I have been lucky enough to remain involved in the research, events, and friendships that I started while I was technically still a good ole USC student.

One of the people I met while researching in the lab, and then got to know even better while in the field with Professor Dodd at Kenan Tepe in Turkey, is Jon Vidar. I feel like we all take our undergraduate archaeology training in different directions when we graduate. Jon has used his undergraduate experiences of meeting Kurdish populations in Turkey and joined that with his masters degree in communication and love of photography.

Jon is now a member of the Tiziano Project. In their own words, “The Tiziano Project creates self-sustaining, multimedia, online citizen journalism in conflict zones and areas of the world neglected by the established press with a vision and goal of job creation for those we serve. We achieve these aims through collaborative media creation by pairing working professionals with local citizen journalists.”

Well, you may have heard that Chase is doing a philanthropy competition on Facebook. The organizations with the most fan votes received funding. Tiziano could really use our votes! It only takes a minute, so if you have the chance, here are the step by step instructions:

1) Go to this page on facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/1228604

2) “Become a Fan” of Chase Community Giving (You must be a fan for your vote to count!)

3) Select “Vote for Charity” and make sure that the vote count went up so that you know your vote counted!

4) Please, please pass this along to all of your friends on facebook! We need all the votes we can get! You must have a Facebook account to participate.

fight on,