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Issues in the public presentation and interpretation of the archaeology of Hadrian's Wall and other frontiers of the Roman Empire are explored and addressed here. A central theme is the need for interpretation to be people-focussed, and for visitors to be engaged through narratives and approaches which help them connect with figures in the past: daily life, relationships, craft skills, communications, resonances with modern frontiers and modern issues all provide means of helping an audience to connect, delivering a greater understanding, better visitor experiences, increased visiting and spend, and an enhanced awareness of the need to protect and conserve our heritage. Topics covered include re-enactment, virtual and physical reconstruction, multi-media, smartphones, interpretation planning and design; while new evidence from audience research is also presented to show how visitors respond to different strategies of engagement. Nigel Mills is Director, World Heritage and Access, The Hadrian's Wall Trust. Contributors: Genevieve Adkins, M.C. Bishop, Lucie Branczik, David J. Breeze, Mike Corbishley, Jim Devine, Erik Dobat, Matthias Flück, Christof Flügel, Snezana Golubovic, Susan Greaney, Tom Hazenberg, Don Henson, Richard Hingley, Nicky Holmes, Martin Kemkes, Miomir Korac, Michaela Kronberger, Nigel Mills, Jürgen Obmann, Tim Padley, John Scott, R. Michael Spearman, Jürgen Trumm, Sandra Walkshofer, Christopher Young.
Many visitors (and would-be visitors) to the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site find the task of interpreting and understanding the visible archaeological remains somewhat challenging. Over a number of years in the role of Head of Multimedia in the Hunterian Museum, and as an Associate Lecturer with the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, the author has been exploring ways of addressing this issue. Multimedia technologies have the potential to aid in the presentation and interpretation of archaeological sites, and their associated artefacts held in local museums collections, for a wide range of public audiences.
The coming of age of interactive digital information and communication technologies has provided cultural heritage organisations with a range of opportunities to utilise these ever more flexible digital technologies to provide access to their cultural resources in increasingly innovative ways. The advent of the World Wide Web, over 20 years ago now, presented heritage organisations with a unique opportunity to provide access to their resources to a truly global audience. Resources which hitherto were only available to those fortunate enough to live within travelling distance of archaeological sites or museum collections were suddenly accessible via the then new medium of web technology. Moreover, many museums around the world saw the potential to turn this new medium into additional virtual display space in which to reveal many artefacts that had been languishing in storage or in reserve collections.
It is not difficult to find images of the Romans and information about Ancient Rome in contemporary sources. There are cartoons, picture books for young children, Hollywood films, television comedies, websites, school textbooks and popular histories for the general public, children's toys and violent computer games. This chapter discusses why the Romans and their barbarian enemies have been badly or incorrectly portrayed so often and for so long. In the UK, school textbooks from the 19th century and throughout most of the 20th century have often failed to present what classical texts, archaeologists and historians have revealed. More than that, these early school resources hardly ever presented any evidence for the authors' bold statements of presumed fact. This chapter also discusses the role of information books for children and the use of cartoons in storybooks about the Romans.
Although schools had existed since the early medieval period in Britain there was little opportunity for most children, and especially for girls, to be educated until parish schools became more common in the 17th century. The Education Act of 1870 created the opportunity to build secular day schools all over the country. School Boards were established in most districts and built public elementary schools, many of which still survive today as primary schools. Many children were educated at home in the 19th century and this promoted the growth of suitable textbooks for mothers or governesses to use in the home. Several history textbooks were written by women, sometimes using pen names, which demonstrated publishers' understanding of the market available to them.
‘But Dad, history is boring and the Romans are the most boring bit of it all.’ I may have paraphrased my son's attempted justification for not doing homework but the essence of his argument is, and was, very plain. A similar argument was deployed always when discussing going to visit one of the site museums on Hadrian's Wall; and yet a walk along the Wall where ‘British war parties’ (children), waiting in ambush for Roman supply columns (parents), were routinely ‘flushed-out’ by Roman scouts (the dog) but rallied to win the ensuing battle, were, for a time, one of the most attractive of weekend activities.
Where have we, as teachers, academics and interpreters gone so badly wrong? How have we managed to make the Romans such a hated topic? Readers may think I overreact but on a very brief and totally unsystematic survey (conducted in the last few minutes with two of my children and eight of their friends, home for lunch from school), the result was almost unanimous: the Romans are the most boring part of history — with one dissenter identifying ‘Medicine Through Time’ (although, when pressed by his peers, he acknowledged that the worst bit of this was ‘The Romans and the beginning of public health’ as there was no gruesome dissection or surgery to talk of …).
Recently there has been a paradigm shift in nonvolatile computer memories from silicon-technology-based EEPROMs (electrically erasable, programmable read-only memories) to devices in which the stored information is coded into + and − polarizations in thin-film ferroelectric capacitors. Such devices have read and erase/rewrite speeds of the order of 1–35 ns, many orders of magnitude faster than the erase/rewrite speeds of the best EEPROMs (Table I). However, fundamental questions concerning their lifetimes had delayed full commercialization. Because ferroelectrics normally have extremely large dielectric constants, their use as nonswitching capacitors in dynamic random-access memories (DRAMs) is also rapidly evolving. The majority of studies to date have emphasized lead zirconate titanate (PZT)-based capacitors for nonvolatile ferroelectric random-access memories (NVFRAMs) and barium strontium titanate-based capacitor DRAMs (see Table II).
The transmission electron microscope (TEM) is one of the most useful tools available to the materials scientist. Yet both the complexity and expense of the equipment, and the huge investment in time necessary to become proficient in specimen preparation and image acquisition and analysis, mean that it is difficult for most industrial institutions to maintain a state-of-the-art TEM facility. How can industry overcome this problem? One solution is to set up a collaboration with a university, an industrial partner, or a government research laboratory. Such collaborations can be extremely valuable to the company, which gains access to microscopes, specimen-preparation equipment and the expertise of professional microscopists, and to the research laboratory, which benefits from the industrial perspective and the private sector's proficiency in materials preparation and processing.
Such collaborations exist, and they can produce excellent results. In this article, we present three case studies in which successful collaboration has occurred between industry and one of the Department of Energy's scientific user facilities, the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM-see sidebar). Our aim is not only to describe results that we hope will be of scientific interest but also to encourage industrial researchers to consider collaborations with institutes such as NCEM.
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