Listening to Watling Street


Dr Shawn Graham


During the interpretation and discussion of a site, archaeologists often attempt to evoke an atmosphere by vividly describing the possible sounds or smells, and yet it is harder for the reader to summon up the smell of something, then it is to close their eyes and see the picture of the landscape being described by the words. But smell, when directly experienced, has the ability to invoke intense feelings, memories and emotions. Dead Man’s Nose is an innovative implementation of smell to historic interpretation – utilising an often ignored sense to provide a truly novel experience of the past.

The Visualisation

Judges’ Comments

The judges were absolutely in awe of how innovative Stu’s project was. They revelled in the opportunity to engage with the past through new media-forms, distribution platforms and senses and commented that this was a project that truly embodied the spirit of the Heritage Jam by providing a thoroughly impressive, novel and engaging way to interact with museums and collections. In addition to this the judges felt that the paradata provided was of an exemplary standard – indeed the only complaint that could be levelled at either the project or the paradata was that the judges wanted to know even more about how it works and to try it out for themselves! Due to the truly innovative nature of the project, the high technical capacity demonstrated in creation and implementation and the thorough nature of the paradata the judges decided to award this project the highly-commended individual award. 



My family Anna, Wilfred and Edwin for appearing in the video and also putting up with the smells of Cannibal Cave and Man O’ War. My dad, Roger Eve, for teaching me how to solder and for building the wooden smell boxes. I have used a number of tutorials as inspiration for the project, such as the various code examples at, www., geofencing – ios-swift, geofencing – ios-9122867. Finally, thanks to my partners and colleagues at L – P : Archaeology for giving me the time and space to develop crazy projects like this.

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