Tag Archives: London

London Climbing – at Vauxwall Climbing Centre

So, this is going to mark a new sort of posts here on our Bouldering Epigrammetry Blog – whenever we get the chance to visit and train in a new climbing hall, we will give you a very short experience-report on it.

So, the first climbing centre “abroad” I have ever visited was the Vauxwall Climbing Centre (here you can find their website with all informations on prices, shoe loan, opening hours etc.).

I tried to find a cimbing centre near to one of my major tube lines for reasons of not getting lost (I am quite an expert in getting lost in big cities you should know), and without any further thinking I decided for the Vauxwall West at Vauxhall.

I had to registrate myself online (which you can do at the centre or at home before you go there), then I got some saftey questions asked, in order to assure the staff that I know about the main rules of indoor climbing. The Vauxwall West ist quite small, I think, but this may also be because of the building is full of nooks and crannies and you can wander around like in a little labyrinth. They have enough “wall space”, showers and changing rooms, lockers for valuables and an area to rest and have a talk and a drink.

I got confused with the levels of difficulty, just starting with the green boulders, thinking of back home, where green is the second level you can take. It worked out fine, because actually at Vauxwall West, this is the first level. 😉 I was motivated and went for my next step, which back home is blue – but blue at Vauxwall West is orange with blue dots, so, I ended up wondering why this routes are so damned difficult… yeah, I was sitting in a room with inscriptions the whole day, I was not that well able to think. I finally noticed the table with the degree colours and started with the violet routes again, for violet is the second level. And I was really good, I have to say… 😉

I felt really good and I enjoyed myself a lot. I even started some discussions with other people climbing, we tried some difficult routes together. It was really nice and despite the first sight that there will not be enough space, it was quite fine and worked out well.

So, all in all, I really appreciated my two visits at the Vauxwall West, I had a good time and the staff was both times very helpful, friendly and qualified. When you are a first time customer, you will get 50% on your second visit’s payment, which is also a very nice thing to have, because bouldering is one expensive type of sport to do in London, I am afraid…

I look forward to visiting new climbing centers on my next stays – I do hope that I have the time. 😉

Always remember: Keep going –

Astrid

London calling …

Workshop on Digital and Practical Epigraphy
(London, April 29–May 4, 2019)

As you might have seen on our Twitter or Instagram-Account, I spent a week in London, participating at a really interesting workshop. It caught me while flipping over some homepages on epigraphy and classics in february this year. I was working on my catalogue for my thesis back then and somehow really frustrated about the fact that some archaeologists have no idea about epigraphy at all. Well, there are also some epigraphists who do not think inscriptions are archaeological material either, … So, it is time that we change this view, don’t you all think so?

I want to show my network and the people around me that (mainly) stones with letters on them are far more interesting than any epigraphist or archaeologist has ever thought of before. And because of that I decided that it is time to show the world my fascination. And as an archaeolgist, I use pictures for sharing my research, before I use words. And, good thing for me, this workshop was actually on taking pictures of inscriptions – or, so to speak, different methods to produce images and/or a proper documentation of inscriptions.

So, what did I learn at this particular workshop?

We started with the various methods of documenting inscriptions. And we really started from scratch, talking about the method of making squeezes (basically pressing and smashing wet special paper on a wet stone by using a great brush – acutally you can watch a video on how to do it here), about taking drawings of the inscriptions and so on. We talked about printed epigraphic ressources as well as about online sources.

We had a very interesting introduction to photogrammetry as a method of documentation for inscriptions. We tried it out at the wonderful St Pancras Gardens – next to making squeezes, we had to pick one stone of our choice – I decided on a little broken one who stucks in the earth and has a pretty angel face on it. We took the photographs wth our smartphones. This was completely new to me, for I am used to my DSLR camera – but I was very surprised to see my results after the whole aligning, dense cloud building and mesh building on Agisoft Metashape (looks quite the same like Photoscan, does the same, feels the same – at least for me).

As you can see, it does look really nice…

After our work with 3D-models and squeezes, we got into the “serious” DH-stuff… I am talking about TEI, EpiDoc and EFES (EpiDoc Front End Services, which is a custom and a platform for publication and search/indexing of EpiDoc files). I have heard the terms “TExt Encoding Initiative” and EpiDoc before, of course, I knew that there was something about coding and tagging and XML, but how all these things are really connected, never ever came clear to my mind, because I simply never ever had the time to read through the amazing amount of information on these things.

Basically, it is a way to encode your inscriptions with all the metadata and information you have about them (e.g. finding spots, description, the museums where it can be found today, transcription etc.) in XML and to make them accessible online on a database or website of your project. There are many different projects running on these kind of scheme, just scroll through the short Wikipedia entry on EpiDoc and click on the various links!

Coding means “keep the cookies coming” – and thank God they had really tasty cookies there. And coffee. Now I finally understand all my friends who work as programmers…

The people behind EpiDoc which gave this workshop are very interested in getting people to know about their project and sharing their knowledge on how to get inscriptions online to make them accessible and useful for science and research to happen. So, go ahead and inform yourself on the various possibilities of participating at a workshop where you can learn the basics of EpiDoc!

… and EFES, of course. This is one of my first tests with EpiDoc files I had to run on EFES, and it worked – it may not look that aesthetic, but, hey, it worked out the way I wanted it too!

By the end of the week, I have to admit it, I was really exhausted. There were so many new things criss-crosing in my mind, it took me nearly four days to recover my brain… For now, I am busy trying to summarize my notes and to work them through again, just making sure not to forget anything important. I hope that soon I can find the time to write more extensive posts on the single methods I learned about.

For now, it is just a very short summary on this amazing week.

I hope you enjoyed this little overview –

take care!

Astrid/archaeogirl