The Bouldering Epigrammetrists are two friends, Astrid Schmölzer and Sarah Lang. We both are somewhat ‘unusual’ species in our respective fields. We both started out as students at the University of Graz, Austria.
Astrid is the archaeologist, with a faible for (digital) Ancient History and (Roman) Epigraphy. Before she started dealing with inscriptions and stones, she did her MA thesis in Archaeology on artificial cranial deformation in Austria. She also did a MA in Ancient History and Classics, working on early Arianism. Her PhD thesis is about the iconography of female deities, known as the Rhineland Matronae. With the end of 2020 she finished her PhD and is now giving insights in the first steps of post-doctoral life. Currently, she is working at the University of Bamberg, Germany.
Sarah only did her BA in Archaeology as a hobby. She is a Latinist by education, but ended up in the Digital Humanities (mostly working on neo-latin alchemy). Programming has become an important part of her life. her PhD thesis is about the Neo-Latin corpus of alchemist/chymist Michael Maier (1568-1622), being a thesis in the field of Digital Humanities, it asks how Digital Editon and Machine Reasoning based on Knowledge Organization Systems can be used to decode the alchemical stylistic device called Decknamen.
We currently prepare project grants on our research interests and areas – 3D modeling using digital photogrammetry (structure from motion), computer vision, machine learning, GIS … all the wondrous technical stuff is part of our methods and toolboxes. The 3D models are supposed to be more than just visualizations and reconstructions – we try to explore how actual scientific knowledge can be generated from them (e.g., making text readable on inscriptions which is practically invisible to the human eye, or how to use a geographic information system for the best when analyzing a certain group of finds).
While not in the same field, we share the same circle of friends and the passion for stones. Not only historical ones with inscriptions on them, but also rock climbing and bouldering. Apart from that, we’re both writers who enjoy blogging as a form not strictly academic writing which can sometimes tend to kill the fun in writing with excessive reviewing, etc. When blogging and climbing together, we realized how crucial active recreation, rest and work-life balance are to our productivity in academia. This is why we want to include this aspect in our blog as well – and we are always open for your thoughts on the topic!
The subjects we blog on range from (digital) archaeology, (digital) classics, (digital) humanities, the academic jetset, PhD and postdoc life, work-life balance, time management when writing or setting up new projects, conferences, and how adventure, travel and vagabonding are often combined in archaeology (i.e. climbing the walls of a medieval castle in the name of archaeology, or learning to dive for underwater archaeology).
Last year we started with empowering other PhD and MA students currently on their path to success. They give us insight in their working method, their tipps and tricks to manage work and their private life, and about all their travels, fellowships, and adventures on the road. If you are interesting in writing a post, feel free to write us an tell us about your work!