Recording videos at Vignale – Part I

It’s just a week since I came back home. The excavation at Vignale ended on 15th of October and I have very satisfied of this 2011 campaign.

As the other years, I could experiment something new about video in archaeology: the main effort of this year has been the communication of our work outside the fence of the excavation area and, as usual, I gave my part recording some videos. More precisely, I recorded three videos. Each one has the goal of giving some information about the progress of the work in the three main excavation areas of the site.

All these videos are organized in the same way – effectively I thought they could be part of a series: at the beginning and to conclude the footage there are some images of archaeologists at work while in the middle is developed the main topic of each video, a sort of account of the excavation progress.

A snapshot of a footage

A snapshot of a footage

Nothing exceptional but just carrying out this activity I could notice some new interesting aspects of recording at the fieldwork:

  • first of all, if you want to produce a footage with images of archaeologists at work, you need a person who records these images. This person needs to spend time recording images moving around the excavation area and has to do it in the best moments of the day for recording, that is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This means that this person can’t help other archaeologists in other fieldworks because he is doing his work. Communication begins on the excavation, so the director needs time to record, that is the first stage. Even for a three minute footage the amount of images is high;
  • at the beginning the major part of the new archaeologists were surprised of seeing me standing up and recording images. All in all, they were reluctant to speak in front of the camera. However, in a short time they saw this situation as normal and the partecipation in this project increased radically;
  • how to tell what they were doing is another interesting topic: the first times, they began to talk as they usually do for an exam, using academic vocabulary and a complicated syntax. So I had to stop them and give some advice. After this step, all of them noticed that is easier to speak in this way in front of a camera rather than in front of a professor during an exam!
  • recording and editing videos for a wider public is more enjoyable than managing the video-documentation of the excavation!

Videos and words of this 2011 excavation at Vignale are available in Italian at


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