Ruthwell aftermath

Back from the Ruthwell Cross scanning week, and what an amazing experience that was!

First of all, thanks to Dan’s work organizing the preliminary set up (scaffolding, bubble wrapping, making room for all the tech gear we brought in, etc.) everything was ready for the scan when we arrived. And everything went incredibly smooth, too: the only glitch we experienced was when one of plugs took down electricity for the whole building when we used it for the vacuum cleaner; moved it to another one, problem solved.

Ok, the little space available in the pit around the North face of the cross made things a bit difficult for Marco and Matteo, and sometimes forced them to squeeze in uncomfortable positions to hold the 3D scanner at the optimal distance (http://www.flickr.com/photos/71629876@N08/7094754677/in/photostream), but we knew that in advance. Not a big consolation to their ailing knees, I know, but let’s see that as a worthwhile sacrifice in the name of anglo-saxon studies 😉

Team work was also great: not only strictly on site, but also discussing details, hypothesis, the first visible 3D models, the amazing pictures taken by James, etc. I guess that (also) was because of the high enthusiasm we all shared. Catherine has shown us two other crosses which would make for a fine addition to our scanning plans; and of course on the last day we went to inspect the Bewcastle Cross site, another amazing monument sadly in a much more precarious condition, being outside the church, as compared to the Ruthwell Cross. It also presents its own specific problems with regard to scanning: being on the outside it will require a tent to protect the scanning equipment (3D scanner and camera), but again there are space constraints due to the surrounding tombstones.

The most exciting part, for me, was the night photo sessions with raking lights, especially the first one (http://www.flickr.com/photos/71629876@N08/6946867662/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/71629876@N08/6946593278/in/photostream/), both because of the suggestive ambiance and of the extraordinary details we were able to see. Working in team with Heather to hold the lights for James was also a nice experience: we moved in synchrony as if we’d done it all our lives 😉

Finally, the whole living and working together experience was also fun, stay tuned for a “Digital Medievalist Commune” initiative 😉

Thank you again to all who participated and/or made the scanning possible!

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