Analog to Digital: Transitions in Theory and Practice in Archaeological Photography at Çatalhöyük

Colleen Morgan

Department of Archaeology, University of York, YO1 7EP, UK. Email: colleen.morgan@york.ac.uk
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6907-5535

Cite this as: Morgan, C. (2016) Analog to Digital: Transitions in Theory and Practice in Archaeological Photography at Çatalhöyük, Internet Archaeology 42. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.42.7

Summary

Saleh, a local worker employed at Tall Dhiban, Jordan ©Colleen Morgan

Archaeology and photography has a long, co-constructed history that has increasingly come under scrutiny as archaeologists negotiate the visual turn. Yet these investigations do not make use of existing qualitative and quantitative strategies developed by visual studies to understand representation in archaeological photographs. This article queries the large photographic archive created by ongoing work at the archaeological site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey to consider the visual impact of changing photographic technologies and of a shifting theoretical focus in archaeology. While using content analysis and semiotic analysis to gain a better understanding of the visual record, these analyses also unexpectedly reveal power dynamics and other social factors present during archaeological investigation. Consequently, becoming conversant in visual analyses can contribute to developing more reflexive modes of representation in archaeology.

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