|Over at Doug’s Archaeology Blog the final question for next month’s #blogarch SAA session on blogging is where are you going with blogging or would you it like to go? |
While having spent half my lifetime working on this methodology, I have always had an end in mind, but what I have deduced from this research was utterly unexpected. The ideal end product was always envisaged as a 3D CAD model, and the internet is now the obvious place to present one. But, to cut to the chase, the core of the issue is Peer Review; While it is technically possible to publish a 3D presentation on the internet, how do you peer review a CAD Model?
While Universities are the natural forum for research, reverse engineering structures was never going to work at a zombie department like Newcastle who had even thrown their CAD system away; and my work was branded worthless by their “cosmologist”. [Caveat emptor]
Ironically, the subsequent decision to blog my research made it worthless, for nothing provided for free has value in terms of the academic system. Furthermore, it had become apparent that any research that challenges the existing commercial narrative will never be supported by any of the existing stakeholders.
Originally, Iron Age Roundhouses were a key focus, but since most people imagine they have seen one, this is probably now beyond rational redemption. However, blogging has allowed me to follow a variety of entirely different routes, and to challenge the rationality aspects of peer reviewed Roman archaeology. The idea of peer review is that it is a firewall that keeps the nonsense out, although in reality and can serve to protect and perpetuate the nonsense already inside.
Quick Case Study; The Archaeology of Stupid Scottish People
As a result of my work on Hadrian's Timber Wall, a colleague sought my opinion on the "Lilia" at Rough Castle, a Roman Fort on the Antonine Wall in Scotland, I was not entirely convinced, but I have reserved judgment, - for several years.
In this context "Lilia" were small conical pits, [the shape of a lily's flower], no more than a foot in diameter containing a tightly bedded sharpened stake. To work they had to be small, round and concealed; NOT large, rectangular, and visible on Google Earth as at Rough Castle. While there are dozens of references to timber ramparts, redoubts and similar structures, which are even illustrated on Trajan’s Column, Lilia is a word used only once in this type of context, and then only as part an narrative of exceptional situation.
So these are NOT "Lilia" and never could be, in addition, the idea that attacking Scots could be stopped by, or be compelled to fall into a series large rectangular pits is utterly disingenuous to the intelligence of both parties. Just how stupid were these peer reviewed Scots?
Maths v 'Peer review' Archaeology
My own solution, a third version, as yet unfinished, already has 2050 individual placed components, perhaps 3000 when finished , and may be presented in a future post.
In terms of modeling it is laborious, but technically simple compared with a building. While I am happy it is accurate within predefined parameters, it raises questions which frankly, I can’t answer, and as yet, others have little interest asking.
Questions such as;
- How can a CAD model be published?
- What sort of virtual environment should it be present it in?
- How much maths is enough to prove a point?
- Who is going to check the fit of all the components?
- Can it be peer reviewed?
I am Blogging TSA as a legacy project, it is free, of zero value, and yet it can be accurate to six inches, if anyone cares to measure it. So while I will never quite know where I am going, or who is along for the ride, – I do know, fairly precisely, how I am going to get there.