The Fabulousness of Archaeo-Gifs

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Top Left: Byzantine monastery Arch at Khirbat Faynan, Jordan. Top Right: Right Aisle of the Byzantine Mosaic Church, Petra, Jordan

Part of my recent writing kick for the lovely AllDay (and its sister site Matterdome) means playing round with the wonderful world of graphics interchange formats, more commonly known as gifs.

And I discovered the sad, sad fact, that there aren’t very many archaeo-gifs a-happening out there. Gif resource Giphy only has one bit of archaeology science in its archives of gifs from tumblr, reddit, and other Gif accumulators. And that is a break down of flint knapping made from a retro documentary. The rest is mostly River Song and Indiana Jones.

But I’d love to see more archaeology in-action on there. Archaeological data could definitely benefit from some fabulous gif-ing.

The Smithsonian and a few other museums are rocking everyone’s socks off with fun gifs made from their archival data. Don’t believe me, check out my Matterdome collection of favorite museum gifs: “66 Animated Gifs That Museums Are Using to Reach New Audiences.”

And I’ve encountered an occasional vintage archaeology pic Gif, like this stunner. But we seriously ought to be jumping on this seriously easy digital bandwagon to illustrate what archaeologists do and how we do it.

Sites like make it ridiculously easy to pop out gifs and turn your data videos into quickly consumable little pieces of science-art that can start rippling out into the social media-sphere.

With that in mind, I’ve started fussing with some of my older point clouds videos of sites in Jordan. Here’s a sampling of my initial archaeo-gif results. And you can check out my playtime with multi-spectral imaging GIFs on my other blog for Open Access Antiquarianism. More soon.

Happy gif-ing archaeo-community. x



Roman Copper Mine at Umm Al-Amad, Jordan


Left Aisle of Byzantine Mosaic Church, Petra, Jordan

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