Harrower's class on remote sensing in archaeology in order to get
picture of the Mason quad on campus. I received a small grant from
Johns Hopkins to build this system, which has 6 rotor blades, a
powerful battery, and a "brain" which balances the platform in flight
and can be programmed to fly according to GPS points. It also has a
camera that takes high-resolution pictures and has infrared sensing
Within the last few years, this sort of "do-it-yourself"
remote-controlled technology has become increasingly available and
popular for archaeological remote sensing. This technology has
tremendous potential as a fast, inexpensive, and accurate way to map
The museum is undertaking several major projects to enhance the use and study of our collection in courses, student and faculty research, and for the enjoyment of the public. Some of our current endeavors include:
- Rehousing the entire museum collection. We are currently unpacking thousands of artifacts which were packed and moved from Gilman Hall prior to the building’s renovation. Our task is to unpack all of this material and have it rehoused in archival storage containers so that they can be moved into museum study drawers or our new storage area, and thus be made accessible for the first time in many years.
- Cataloging all objects in our collection. We are in the process of cataloging our entire collection so that it can be viewed as part of an online searchable database within the next two years. This challenging project includes extensive archival research; careful description and examination of each artifact; and high quality photography of each object. As part of this project, we developed a new database which will capture all of this information and include invaluable research information such as references, links to other objects within our collection which are relevant and information on the conservation of the artifacts.
- Conserving artifacts for display and study. As part of our mission to conserve and care for the museum collection, we are examining and conserving objects in need of conservation prior to their display or storage.
- Analytical research of museum objects. We are currently in the process of purchasing state of the art scientific equipment to better understand our museum collection. To this end, we will be purchasing a high quality microscope with digital photography and videography capabilities for examination of objects and for displaying this information to students within the classroom. We will also be acquiring a portable X-ray fluorescence instrument which will allow us to non-destructively analyze pigments, metal compositions, and other material characteristics.
By Michael Riecken
The terracotta dolphin in the JHUAM was most likely a mold-made child’s rattle. The dolphin is shown in profile with raised tail and snout, pronounced fins, lateral gill-like grooves, and an S-curve body. Given its gentle demeanor and elegant form, the dolphin was viewed as man’s special friend and became a popular subject in Greek [...]Read more