esPrix 2007 – Forms of presentation of Etruscan tombs in museums of the 19th and 20th centuries, with particular reference to the Tomba dei Rilievi in Cerveteri
The award winner
Sarah Scheffler, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Part of the master’s thesis “Präsentationsformen etruskischer Gräber in Museen des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Tomba dei Rilievi in Cerveteri”.
Evaluation of the jury
The presentation on the Tomba die Rilievi in Cerveteri was created as part of a master’s thesis and conceived as an independent information unit for an exhibition. It was created with the program “Mediator” and submitted on CD-ROM. The overall impression is appealing, the deeply staggered information from text and pictures is well developed, partly via image maps and glossary insertions with hotspots.
The reflective handling of the methodological, didactic and technical aspects in a 23-page chapter of the master’s thesis is particularly positive.
The features are sufficient for local application in an exhibition. If you could take the CD-ROM home for follow-up work, you would like to be provided with supporting documents and suggestions in note form, as well as links to Internet services. The presentation is instructive and convincing in content and concept, so that a further supplement and a more navigation-friendly programming on a different basis is desirable!
The very extensive content is well-founded, well-researched and documented, the discussion of current research results is part of the presentation. The object is comprehensively documented and supplemented by further and background information.
The texts are formulated in an audience-friendly manner, without chumming up, technical terms are not avoided but explained. Small grammatical mistakes are not important.
The bibliography would benefit from comments, the list of figures is summary and not linked to the individual illustrations.
According to the requirement (presentation in a museum room on an offline computer), no internet offers were considered or links inserted, but this would be a useful addition to the literature list. Animated images do not impose themselves on the object, but as an eye-catcher on the start page, entering the grave by means of a handycam sequence on the model is implemented with the simplest of means, but very convincingly. Sound was obviously not desired in the exhibition either, but would be useful as a supplement to some descriptions in an extended version. The larger representation of individual objects can be found on the in-depth pages. Some illustrations, however, such as differentiated models and watercolours, would require enlargements from within the picture.
The interactivity is concentrated on the deepening of knowledge via imagemaps. When linking the family tree and gravesites (gens Matuna), it would be desirable to display also from the graphic to the family tree. The interactive plan of the necropolis (Introduction > Banditaccia Necropolis) does not work in the present version. A stronger link between overview image and descriptive text would also be useful, if objects are pointed out (prygian helmet, …), e.g. by highlighting at mouseover.
The page layout largely follows a uniform, classical scheme of images and text, and is primarily dedicated to the design of information panels in the museum.
The font is very legible, the background color is strong but serious, purpose and theme adapted, even the color images do not need a border.
The structure of many text passages (gens Matuna > “which statements …”) could be more clearly structured, necessary distances between picture and text or text and frame (glossary entries) were occasionally not considered. Not all pages are well structured and arranged (objects of civil life; animals), underlined headlines and keyword-like listings (Cerveri) belong rather on a handout and should be adapted to the screen design.
The hierarchical structure is obvious, cross connections are made via internal links.
The navigation is largely predetermined by the program. The main points are available by arrow buttons with mouseover names – although partially deactivated in the table of contents – and within the chapters the orientation is provided by a breadcrump bar at the bottom of the screen. The table of contents corresponds to a sitemap; if technically possible, it would be elaborate but desirable to link them and thus facilitate the complicated navigation.
The different ways of linking: navigation, info buttons to further pages, highlighting of terms with glossary insertion, hotspots in imagemaps are manifold but plausible and usually explained by clear text instructions.
System requirements and required screen resolution are geared to the original purpose (fixed pre-installation). Some bugs (in the table of contents the actually inactive main navigation shows the video and only hides it again by another navigation button, in “Stucco objects” the heading designation does not hide after another click) can be program related.
The "Mediator " is only partially up to the demands of the concept, a change of programme could be a remedy.
(Dr. Stefan Brenne, Dr. Bettina Pfleging)