Research Mentor(s): Geoff Emberling, Associate Research Scientist
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 4 (2pm-2:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 7
Jebel Barkal is a UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Sudan. The Jebel Barkal Archaeological Project at the University of Michigan was looking for an effective way to share its archaeological findings with a range of audiences and found that creating a website would meet these needs. We surveyed different archaeological project websites to determine which features would work well for the project’s needs. This also helped us to determine what website builder would be utilized, as they all have different offerings for features you can include. In addition, we looked into how the websites looked aesthetically to figure out what would appeal most to different audiences, the general public, teachers, students, scholars, and eventually people in Sudan (in an Arabic version). From our previous research we found that the features most important to us were a research portal, one section with older research from the previous director, Tim Kendall, one from the current director, Geoff Emberling, and a news feed/blog to keep visitors up to date with the findings at the site and intrigue possible sponsors to want to donate. We also found that for aesthetic purposes, making sure text passages are not too long and that there are images included helps to keep the user connected to the topic but not overwhelmed. Lastly, formatting of the website was discussed frequently as some audiences have different access to computers and phones; we found that websites generally need a universal format that will look good no matter what device they are displayed on. In conclusion, it will be possible to create an engaging website for this project that will have research available for professionals and researchers to use, but also be useful to the general public with shorter summaries of the research.