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Ancient Greece on British Television$
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Fiona Hobden and Amanda Wrigley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412599

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412599.001.0001

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The Digital Aesthetic in ‘Atlantis: The Evidence’ (2010)

The Digital Aesthetic in ‘Atlantis: The Evidence’ (2010)

(p.187) 9 The Digital Aesthetic in ‘Atlantis: The Evidence’ (2010)
Ancient Greece on British Television

Anna Foka

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines ‘Atlantis: The Evidence’ – a 2010 episode of Timewatch, the BBC2 historical documentary series – as an example of digital ekphrasis. Facilitated by digital techniques that generate a distinctive aesthetic, the evocative audiovisual representation contributes in significant ways to the programme’s demonstration and interpretation of the ‘evidence’ used to justify the hypothesis that the Platonic myth of the lost city of Atlantis corresponds to the Bronze Age town of Thera. Experimental, interactive and collaborative CGI techniques familiar to drama productions in film and television and to contemporary practices in virtual and cyber-archaeology serve to construct the events and people of the distant past within a distinctive posthuman world. At a moment when digital tools are increasingly central to how the imagined past is rendered and received via the television screen, this analysis demonstrates the validating and authenticating effects of synthetic representation in depicting historical realities.

Keywords:   ‘Atlantis: The Evidence’, Timewatch, Thera (Bronze Age town), digital ekphrasis, cyber-archaeology, digital archaeology, computer-generated imagery (CGI), visualization, digital reconstruction, posthuman aesthetics

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