Saturday, 17 May 2008

Reconstructions and National Treasure

In my Visualising the Past course over the last week there has been an interesting tangential discussion around the portrayal or archaeology in films like Indian Jones, Tomb Raider and the Mummy. The adventure and thievery logic that they bring is set within a context of study and research - is the net result a beneficial one? I think Jurassic Park elevated the study of anchient biology, is Indy doing the same?

I just posted this as part of the discussion:
I got out my copy of National Treasure this morning and it is very interesting to see the Treasure Hunter logic blended with a high reverence for history. We see the importance of knowledge, understanding and preservation, but when push comes to shove the characters dive in and explore or use without the full archaeological processes or due care.

On the DVD there is a report on modern day real treasure hunters as well, and despite its clearly positive slant does show the technology and process they follow. We see their technology and research is actually quite similar to what Time Team brought to a site. We see them talking about the idea that 90% of the task is research, in the library etc. They bring a rigour to the job, I presume based on the income they garner through following good processes.

It is an interesting position, fuelled by the very nature of the museum, where artefacts are 'collected' to be displayed for us.

The film and the special features also highlight several reconstructions (cinematic ones at least) of temples, ships, ruins and artefacts. These are a mixture of models, sets and CG integrated with the live footage.
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Not really related, but it is great fun - trailer for the Lego Indy game. The Star Wars versions of this game were very clever and rather addictive. Bringing this one along with Indy4 at the cinema is a great idea:

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