Friday, July 17, 2020

Archaeology 360: Mahee Castle, Co. Down

It should come as no surprise that if our first Archaeology 360 video was to be about Nendrum, the next would be about the delightful ruin of Mahee Castle, just a few hundred metres from the monastic site. I’ve written before about Mahee Castle and even created some 3D images of the site. Rather than paraphrase all that again, allow me to direct you to the original blog posts [here | 3D photos].

     

Rather than being a conventional archaeological tour of the site, consider this immersive 360 video to be just as much about an open-eyed meditation on the place – a mindfulness experience, if you will. Look at the ruin, but also listen to the winds blow, the birds sing, and the leaves gently flutter on the breeze. 

You can view it on an ordinary browser, but for best results we recommend the immersive experience that comes with an Oculus/Google Cardboard headset. Please feel free to 
Like and Share the video and Subscribe to the Archaeology 360 channel. If you’re feeling peculiarly generous and wish to help purchase snacks to sustain the Chapples Minor in the field, please drop something in the Tip Jar on the top right of this page.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Archaeology 360: Early Medieval ecclesiastical site, Nendrum, Co. Down

I know this blog has been quiet for a while. The realities of the Covid-19 lockdown meant I ended up focusing more on other priorities for a while. When the restrictions in Northern Ireland eased slightly and we were allowed to invite other people to come sit in our garden we invited a couple of our neighbours around for gin and elderflower champagne. In the course of a delightful evening the conversation turned to things of a tech nature and a revelation was made – our neighbours had a lovely Oculus Go headset that they didn’t use and wondered if the Chapples Minor would care for it? Never being known to look a gift horse in the mouth, I enthusiastically agreed. I had to bide my time until the children got over their first flurry of fervour and I got a look in. When I did, I was struck by a number of things, not the least of which is that I’m terrified of rollercoasters, both real and digital! It further reaffirmed my belief in the work of trailblazers such as Howard Goldbaum’s Voices from the Dawn and affiliated projects which skilfully blend historical research with stunning 360° immersive visuals. However, other then Howard’s work there is not much to find in terms of archaeology-themed 360 videos (Colleen Morgan’s blog post on the topic being a notable exception). Rather than curse the darkness, it’s better to light a candle, so I found an older model Gear 360 camera for a reasonable price and (after some help getting the software to work – you know who you are & I thank you from the bottom of my heart!) I started to make some short test videos. After this little practice I felt ready to take on an actual archaeological project and over two days the Chapples Minor and I completed a number of filming projects. Today, we’d like to unveil the first of these – a 360 video tour of the Early Medieval ecclesiastical site at Nendrum, Co. Down [Wiki] and a dedicated Archaeology 360 YouTube channel [here].

You can view it on an ordinary browser, but for best results we recommend the immersive experience that comes with an Oculus/Google Cardboard headset. Please feel free to Like and Share the video and Subscribe to the Archaeology 360 channel. If you’re feeling peculiarly generous and wish to help purchase snacks to sustain the Chapples Minor in the field, please drop something in the Tip Jar on the top right of this page.