Looting, Robotics and Experiential Archaeology for non-Archaeologists

Author(s): Michael Carter; Jean Li; Alex Ferworn

Year: 2017


This paper will examine a recent effort to develop an interdisciplinary graduate level digital media and physical computing course, framed as experiential archaeology for non-archaeologists. By combining theory and practice of digital media, archaeology and a computer science course in robotics as an introduction to the cultural heritage destruction of the el-Hibeh site in southern Egypt due to pervasive looting, graduate students in digital media worked alongside undergraduate students in computer science to design, develop and "deploy" functional robots that could be hypothetically used to examine the extent of looting holes and tunnels within a simulated archaeological landscape. Egyptologist and co-Director of the el-Hibeh site, Dr. Jean Li framed the archaeological, historical and current best practices of Egyptian archaeology while Dr. Alex Ferworn, a specialist in disaster management robotics design, provided the practical technical knowledge to address design, functionality and applicability in the field. This interdisciplinary approach demonstrated how non-archaeological students from varied fields of expertise and skill, could negotiate archeology, digital media and physical computing in the creation of new archaeological knowledge in methods and practice. In doing so, archaeology and the application of digital media became the basis of their experiential learning.

Cite this Record

Looting, Robotics and Experiential Archaeology for non-Archaeologists. Michael Carter, Jean Li, Alex Ferworn. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431660)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14759