Paradata Resources and Direction
Digging Deeper has been created to highlight some of the colonising practices within academia, particularly focusing on the issues within Roman Archaeology in Britain and exploring the power dynamics that can be encountered within research.
The primary audience for this Twine is academics with some knowledge of the history of Romano-British archaeology but the investigative layout is intended to be accessible for a wider audience. Due to the resource being web-based and in basic HTML it will be easily accessible with the URL and from the Heritage Jam website. Additionally, as the resource is text-based it will be accessible for people using screen-readers.
We have chosen an interactive narrative structure to foreground the user agency in making their own choices about the investigation into the site we have created. There are cyclical structures within the Twine for users to determine their own fate and change their minds based on evidence presented as they learn more. We have chosen to create a hypothetical excavation in order to allow us to showcase some of the possible decisions and analyses archaeologists can face during an excavation along with the pressures on PhD students to accept common narratives that could come from supervisors.
When creating our narrative we decided that it was important to us to encourage curiosity based on the artefacts and their individual histories. Users make decisions based on challenges to go deeper into the narrative or to accept what they are told at face value. It was important to have the option for users to learn and change their minds about artefacts based on new learning within the resource as this is what happens within research. We created a paper prototype of the Twine to map out our intentions and share our knowledge about archaeology and storytelling to create this interactive, non-linear narrative.
We drew ideas and inspiration from other Twines found online and presented during the Jam to shape our story map. We then chose the assemblage of artefacts to be explored by drawing on knowledge about Roman Britain and archaeological practices and common problems that can be associated in the power dynamic between PhDs and supervisors. The supervisor here was created to represent the traditional investigation into Roman Britain, however, purposefully chose not to disclose gender until reaching an ‘end’ point to challenge common stereotypes associated with male professors.
We decided to provide links to further resources for users to explore more about the processes of decolonising history, heritage, and archaeology as well as resources discussing the history of Roman archaeology.
Roland Thomas, Lissa Holloway-Attaway, Imogen Ray and Ellie Drew