Compte rendu par Ilona Skupinska-Lovset, University of Lodz
Nombre de mots : 1241 mots
Publié en ligne le 2015-05-29
Citation: Histara les comptes rendus (ISSN 2100-0700).
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New methods of documentation and popularisation of scientific results for the broader public introduced visualisation as the most efficient way to present archaeological discoveries. The ethical questions of misleading presentation which can be considered as almost manipulative of the non professional and therefore less critical public were brought forwards and discussed broadly in this connection (Cf. book by Joyce Wittur, Computer-generated 3D - Visualisations in Archaeology. Between added value and deception, BAR International Series 2463, 2013). These precautions do not apply in the case of the reviewed publication as it is addressed principally to the scholars and researchers, acquainted with the constantly broadening spectrum of scientific methods facilitating documentation on the production and usage of ancient pottery. Additionally, the long lasting interest in cataloguing “Greek vases” (The Beazley archive and Corpus Vasorum Antiqorum) made scholars and readers of their publications used to a specific way of pottery presentation. On the other hand, the rush development of sciences opened new possibilities to extend knowledge in a way not studied before and have a wider insight in the art of pottery painting in classical antiquity. The reviewed book shows the way to carry through such program.
The book is principally directed towards educated readers. It presents 8 articles by 19 authors, each discussing the use of these new ways of documentation in a museum environment. The publication is the first one of a series started in the year 2009 under the name “Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Österreich - Beihefte”. The present first volume includes articles written in German and English. It starts with a presentation by Thomas Mannack and Greg Parker of the first archaeological database, the Beazley archive, which has operated free of charge since the year 1998. Next step intended is the project of digitalisation of Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum.
The false bottom, inner compartments and similar can be detected with the help of x-ray. How to detect traces after “ancient or museum renovations” on the surface of a vessel, restauration of its body, or restauration of its decoration by means of non invasive methods is presented by Bettina Vak under the title “Auf der Suche nach dem Orignal”. In the same article the author documents the presence of a drawing under the decoration on an Attic black-figure amphora. This case is an example of the possibilities of new technologies for documentation. The usability of ultraviolet fluorescence (UV), infrared-spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence (RFA) is further discussed and illustrated by photographs of case studies.
An interesting case is described by Maria Christidis in her article “ A Guttus from the Original Collection of the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Graz. Applications of Scientific Research”. A black glazed guttus on which some inconsistencies as to shape and surface were noticed, was subjected to study by the use of X-rays and computer tomography (CT). The investigations showed the existence, in certain places, of a non ceramic leveling material, which was overpainted; secondarily, various fragments of this vessel showed varying density of the material used, which was noted by CT analysis. Such results were interpreted as an indication of a separate production of various parts of the vessel: the base, the handle, the spout, the medallion. These parts were mounted afterwards, the medallion at the end.
The book as a whole is very useful as the presentation of the process of the introduction of industrial and medical methods in analysis of ancient and historical material. Its introduction in fieldwork as well as in the museums soon will become a common reality. These methods, applied to a pottery, register original raw materials used, decoration, all kinds of reparations, renovations, all changes in profile and the walls themselves.
The possibilities of the usage of medical and industrial methods in the reconstruction of the lost past appear multiple, one can imagine more cases than presented in the reviewed book. The illustrative material presented in the book is abundant, instructive and of very good quality. It remains to congratulate the authors and the authorities for the wise decision to continue the project and the publication of the “Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Osterreich. Beiheft Series”. The first volume demonstrated clearly how important is the “power of expression” of the well-presented illustration material. The only thing that the reviewer might consider as missing is a scale placed with the pottery presented in order to facilitate orientation as to the size of its parts.
Thomas Mannack - Greg Parker
Hubert Mara - Julia Portl
Stephan Karl - Daniel Jungblut - Jördis Rosc - Rudolf Erlach
Robert Fürhacker - Stephan Karl
Leonid Dimitrov - Milos Šrámek - Emanuel Wenger - Claudia Lang-Auinger - Elisabeth Trinkl
Paul Kammerer - Franz Mairinger - Elisabeth Trinkl - Ernestine Zolda
Éditeurs : Lorenz E. Baumer, Université de Genève ; Pascal Griener, Université de Neuchâtel ; François Queyrel, École pratique des Hautes Études, Paris ; Roland Recht, Collège de France, Paris