After months of rigorous work including talking thousands of photographs and processing the data for days on end, Sarah Aldridge’s work has culminated in the launch of virtualtudors.org, an online repository for 3D models of the remains of those who died on board the Mary Rose and the items the men once owned.
Working closely with other academics at Swansea and Oxford University as well as the Mary Rose Trust, whose multi million pound bespoke museum has just officially opened, Sarah has created an archive of data open to the public and possibly the first of its kind.
Sarah’s Engineering supervisor has been quoted as saying that Sarah’s work ‘would test the scientific value of digital archaeology – and the world’s burgeoning collection of cyber-artefacts.’ And that “Lots of museums are digitising collections, and a lot of the drive behind that is creating a digital copy of something,”
Sarah’s Biomechanics supervisor also highlights the potential impact for modern human health: “It might be that somebody in, I don’t know, Arizona, has a particular speciality and they say, ‘Do you realise that this person here has such-and-such a condition?’ It’d be very nice if that happened,”
Sarah has commented that during her time performing the photography for each 3D model things have got a lot quicker, at the beginning a single skull could take an entire day. Sarah’s lab mates are grateful that with the successful launch of the website they might actually get some time on the computers again. One colleague has been quoted as saying, “Sarah’s work is awesome, we’re so please it’s got some much press coverage…. But we need another computer to cope with all the work!”
With 92 almost complete human skeletons, over twice as many individuals identified from the ship not mentioning the thousands or artefacts found Sarah’s work will create an unprecedented window for the public to interact with Tudor history.
Author note: This is a satire on how PhD student’s work will always come second in priority to those who originally had the idea.