Anna Gotskind: Documentarian and Writer for Vulci 3000 Archaeological Excavations, Vulci, Italy

Research Travel Award Winner (Undergraduate): Summer 2019

For a month over the summer following the first year at Duke I was given the incredible opportunity to travel to the Vulci, an Archaeological Park located about an hour and a half north of Rome, Italy. There I worked with Dr. Maurizio Forte and his team as they excavated an ancient Etruscan and Roman urban city center.

The project, Vulci 3000 focuses on combining methods of traditional archaeology with innovative technology like Photogrammetry, GIS and remote sensing. My role in the project was to develop documentary films and articles highlighting the process and importance of the project. I spent my time learning the history of the site, getting hands-on experience doing archaeological fieldwork and talking to archaeologists from all over the world about their work. My main job, however, was to film the activities occurring on-site and edit them to create several short films depicting the work being done for Vulci 3000. 

Over my four weeks, on-site I created five short films covering an overview of the project, the history of the site, the technology being used in the project, the life of an artifact and major discoveries in the trench. These videos were shown at a local conference at the end of my stay and will be used to promote the project.

Another aspect of my work was writing articles. I am a staff writer for the Duke Research Blog and published two articles about Vulci 3000 to help the public better understand archaeology and the work being done here. 

Lastly, Vulci 3000 is a revolutionary project in the field of archaeology because of its use of technology. I helped to create VR content compatible with the OculusGo using a 360 camera. This content allows non-archaeologists to experience what it is like to be on-site and can be used for both recreational as well as educational purposes.

I am so grateful that I was able to have this experience and am excited to be able to share what I have learned about Etruscan and Roman history with the public.