AIA O.C. Society Tours the USC/ARC Facility


On Saturday, October 20th, eleven members and guests of our AIA Orange County Society visited the new USC/ARC facilities on the USC campus.
The Director of the Archaeology Research Center (ARC ), Dr. Lynn Swartz Dodd greeted us and led us to the USC Digital Lab.  There, Dr. Kenneth Zuckerman told us about the development of the variable light camera by USC and the Hewlett Packard "skunk works" and demonstrated how it creates a PTM image that can be viewed and manipulated on a lap top computer to enhance the surface texture image on an artifact.  What an amazing analytical tool. (See photo below)

Lynn gave us a very informative tour of the ARC facility, including a demonstration of the "Twister" camera used to create roll-out photos of cylindrical objects such a cylinder seals, pottery, etc.  Then she took us to an archaeology class, where we did the timeline exercise with coke bottles and oil lamps.  We also were able to examine and hold ancient relics from Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc., while Lynn explained the significance of these rare objects. For a brief moment, we all felt we were archaeologists.  This was truly a unique experience.
(See photo below)

Then, Dr. Leta Hunt told us about the InscriptiFact system and it's development and showed us how it is used to document and analyze ancient texts, such as the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.  She explained how scholars (and lay people) from around the world can obtain access to this magnificent achieve of ancient textural material for research and learning.