Digital Archaeology Data: Issues and Possibilities

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  • Documents (11)

  • Approaches to Openness: Digital Archaeology Data in Virginia and Public Engagement (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jolene Smith.

    Virginia’s archaeological site inventory contains detailed information on nearly 43,000 sites in datasets maintained by the Department of Historic Resources (State Historic Preservation Office). At times, responsibility to protect sensitive sites from looting and vandalism seems to run counter to providing information to the public about Virginia’s archaeology. But the two are not mutually exclusive. This paper will explore Virginia’s historical approach to archaeological data dissemination with...

  • The Big Data History of Archaeology: How Site Definitions and Linked Open Data Practices are Transforming our Understanding of the Historical Past (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joshua J Wells. Robert DeMuth. Kelsey Noack Myers. Stephen J Yerka. David Anderson. Eric Kansa. Sarah Kansa.

    This paper examines big data patterns of historic archaeological site definitions and distributions across several temporal and behavioral vectors. The Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA) provides publicly free and open data interoperability and linkage features for archaeological information resources. In 2015, DINAA had integrated fifteen US state archaeological databases, containing information about 0.5 million archaeological resources, as a linked open data network of...

  • Daniel Gookin's Atlantic World: An ESRI GIS Storymap for Archaeology (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Luke J. Pecoraro.

    Presenting archaeological data to both public and academic audiences in the digital age presents problems and opportunities to make the results of excavation and survey more accessible. In some cases, one class of data is highlighted over another resulting in an unbalanced perspective. The ESRI Story map platform provides a template that can visually represent spatial information, and link this with photographs, artifact catalogs, and primary documents. What is more, Story Maps are set up to be...

  • Designing a Collaborative Website for Inter-Site Research: The Colonial Encounters Project (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Gregory Brown. Mary Kate Mansius.

    The Colonial Encounters project is a multi-institution collaboration intended to provide on-line and downloadable access to some 35 important archaeological assemblages from sites in the Potomac River valley dated between 1500 and 1720. Part of a larger project intended to provoke inter-site studies by standardizing and organizing previous archaeological projects, the website described in this paper was designed to deliver site summary documents, historical data, images, and a database...

  • Good Digital Curation: Sharing and Preserving Archaeological Data as Part of Your Regular Workflow (2016)
    DOCUMENT Full-Text Francis McManamon. Leigh Anne Ellison. Jodi Reeves Flores.

    Archaeology is awash in digital data collected as part of surveys, excavations, laboratory analyses, and comparative studies.  Sophisticated statistical analyses, spatial studies, contextual comparisons, a variety of scanning technologies, and other contemporary methods and techniques both use and generate complex and detailed digital archaeological data.  Digital data are easier to duplicate, reanalyze, share, and preserve if they are curated properly.  However, digital data curation differs in...

  • Looking for Data in All the Right Places: Recreating the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Molly H Kerr. Esther White.

    At his death in 1799, George Washington recorded 318 enslaved people at Mount Vernon.  This number does not reflect the numbers of individuals who worked the property during the entire tenure of the Washington family from 1735 – 1858, and it does not begin to address individuals enslaved on the numerous properties owned by Washington or the vast acreage he administered on behalf of the Custis family.  To better understand the lives of all those enslaved individuals, Mount Vernon’s digital...

  • Making the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) a Usable Resource (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth Bollwerk. Lynsey Bates. Leslie Cooper. Jillian Galle.

    Since its inception in 2000, the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) has been a digital resource undergoing iterative development and revision.  A digital archive containing data on 2 million artifacts from 70 archaeological sites, DAACS opens infinite possibilities for a variety of audiences who want to use evidence-based approaches to learn about enslaved societies in the Atlantic world.  Offering DAACS as a case study, this paper considers a major challenge...

  • The Maryland Archaeological Synthesis Project: One State’s Solution to Archaeology’s Crushing Gray Literature Problem (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew McKnight.

    Since passage of the National Historic Preservation Act a growing body of valuable data has been generated by state agencies, CRM professionals, and preservation officers. Unfortunately, this data is usually trapped in an archaic paper-based format, restricted geographically to a single state archive. All too often the data is brought to light only to be "reburied" in the SHPO’s library where it may be largely inaccessible to researchers scattered throughout the country. This paper describes how...

  • Mind The Gap: Issues In The Dissemination Of Digital Archaeological Data (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mark Freeman.

    Recent research into the dissemination of digital archaeological data in Virginia suggests that effective access is complicated by issues of licensing, citation, permanence, context, and data interoperability. Additionally much of the data remains digitally inaccessible, suggesting both a digital curation problem, and also the concept of a data gap – a difference between interest in other people’s data, and a willingness to make data available. Further support for this data gap, seen in many...

  • Presenting Data to the Public: Approaches for Contextualizing Archaeological Information for a Non-Specialist Audience (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lisa E. Fischer.

    Disseminating archaeological findings to the public is an important part of the discipline’s mission. However raw archaeological data are often difficult for a non-specialist audience to interpret. Including a mediating layer of information that helps the reader to understand the data can provide needed contextual information when presenting archaeological findings for a public audience. Developing and maintaining this additional interpretive content, however, can be difficult, especially for...

  • Sharing The Wealth: Crowd Sourcing Texts And Artifacts (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Esther White. Anna Agbe-Davies.

    Historical archaeological studies have always relied upon statistically valid datasets for quantitative analyses and often required that archaeologists wade through volumes of text for clues to a site’s historical context.  The digital age allows for the collection of these data in a variety of ways including gathering primary sources through crowd sourcing – multiple users, often from a diversity of sites or backgrounds, compiling data into a central repository.  This paper explores the utility...