Project Overview

This video showcases processes undertaken by archaeologists turning artefacts into
‘data’: from excavation and washing, to cataloguing and storage. In doing so we aim to
juxtapose the thousands of objects found through excavation and the select number which
become part of a museum collection, and consider how choices in display and storage
shape the perception of archaeological material. While the analytical value of artefacts
‘in bulk’ is widely appreciated, their potential for communicating heritage narratives is
often overlooked, as well as their aesthetic value.

The Visualization

Judges' Comments

Our judges absolutely adored the way in which “Team Dialogue with a Fish” took pottery sherds – items which, due to their plentiful nature and often repetitive form, tend to be thought of as uninspiring artefacts – and transformed them into inspiring and exciting pieces in a clever narrative. The upbeat music complimented the implementation of comedy and narrative perfectly, creating a vibe which had our judges and viewers wanting to engage with this collection further. The creative way which the team reimagined this collection as well as the incredible technical execution in the video media form led to our judges selecting this entry as one of the highly deserving recipients of the “Judges’ Choice” awards. 


About the Team

Dialogue with a Fish are a team of archaeologists currently working in Barda, Azerbaijan
with the Archaeological Exploration of Barda project (part of the Nizami Ganjavi
Programme for the Languages and Cultures of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, University of

Alexis Pantos is an independent photographer, designer and archaeologist based in York.
He has worked on projects from Somerset to Jordan and enjoys photographing several
thousand pot sherds at short notice.

Paul Wordsworth is a research fellow at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford.
Working mainly in Central Asia thus far, Paul has recently branched out across the Caspian
into the Caucasus where he has been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the plov.

David Stone is an environmental archaeologist who has recently completed an MSt at the
University of Oxford. He’s not quite sure how he ended up in Azerbaijan… but can
recommend the spuds.

Tim Penn is mid-way through a Masters in Classical Archaeology at the University of
Oxford. His highlight of this year (so far) was attending Ginger Fest 2015 in Breda,

Cordelia Hall is a freelance archaeologist and archaeological surveyor. She worked in
London for several years before heading to the Middle East, for the sunshine and excellent

Katie Campbell is part-way through and MSc in Digital Heritage at the University of York.
She has worked on projects across Europe and Asia, trying (and failing) to adopt a dog in
each country.


AuthorIan Kirkpatrick