The Excavations at Isthmia Multimedia Program

The Excavations at Isthmia program is a multimedia computer application which incorporates text, animation, sound, graphics, and video to teach students about the archaeological site at Isthmia. The Excavations at Isthmia program has been developed to serve as a case study for the introductory studies of ancient history and archaeological field methodology in the ancient Mediterranean. Within the program, the student will be introduced to many concepts of Greek history and classical archaeology. The program focuses primarily on the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia, and also discusses certain archaeological concepts such as stratigraphy, absolute dating, and relative dating.

Opening Screen of Excavations at Isthmia
Opening Screen of Excavations at Isthmia

Isthmia provides important information regarding the interaction between Greek and Roman cultures. Although a Greek sanctuary, it was especially important in Roman times, and it allowed the Romans an opportunity for propaganda and political statement. In a very real sense "East" met "West" at Isthmia and the remains--especially the Roman Bath--allow an unusually good opportunity to study that interaction. Additionally, Isthmia is particularly significant because it had an important post-classical phase, allowing for the study of medieval, as well as classical, material.

The archaeological site at Isthmia can be used as a case study for the study of certain archaeological methodologies. While various sites can have drastically different interpretations, the same field methods can be used to provide answers to similar archaeological questions, no matter what the situation. For instance, an archaeologist studying a site in the ancient Mediterranean might employ some of the same dating techniques as an archaeologist studying native American culture in the southwest United States. Certain methodologies can be applied universally, regardless of their cultural context.

Movie Screen for Excavations at Isthmia
Movie Screen for Excavations at Isthmia

Additionally, every archaeological site must exhibit some kind of stratigraphy; thus the basic concepts of stratigraphy remains the same for any excavation, even though the sites may have completely different interpretations. At Isthmia the concepts of stratigraphy, absolute dating and relative dating can be applied to many different circumstances and used to solve many archaeological questions. These concepts are some of the basic theories of archaeology, and the multimedia program displays their applicability to the study of the site at Isthmia.

In addition to its value as a case study, the Excavations at Isthmia program serves as a useful teaching tool. The application delivers a great deal of information which can be used as the beginning for a research project, or in the writing of essays regarding various issues. The application can also be used as a presentation tool. In short, the application is designed to fit into any instructor's curriculum, and can be used in a number of ways.

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