Cultural Dynamics, Deep Time, and Data: Planning Cyberinfrastructure Investments for Archaeology


Archaeological data and research results are essential to addressing such fundamental questions as the origins of human culture; the origin, waxing, and waning of civilizations and cities; the response of societies to long-term climate changes; and the systemic relationships implicated in human-induced changes in the environment. However, we lack the capacity for acquiring, managing, analyzing, and synthesizing the large data sets needed to address these fundamental questions. We propose investments in computational infrastructure that would transform archaeology’s ability to advance research on the field’s most compelling questions with an evidential base and inferential rigor that have heretofore been impossible. At the same time, new infrastructure would make key archaeological data accessible to interested researchers in other disciplines. We offer recommendations regarding improved data management and availability, cyberinfrastructure tool building, and social and cultural changes in the discipline. We propose funding synthetic case studies that would demonstrate archaeology’s ability to contribute to transdisciplinary research on long-term social dynamics and serve as a context to develop and test computational tools and the analytical workflows that will be necessary to attack these questions. The case studies would explore how emerging research in computer science could empower this research and would simultaneously provide productive challenges for computer science research.

Cite this Record

Cultural Dynamics, Deep Time, and Data: Planning Cyberinfrastructure Investments for Archaeology. Keith Kintigh, Jeffrey Altschul, Ann P. Kinzig, Fred Limp, William Michener, J. A. Sabloff, Edward Hackett, Timothy A. Kohler, Bertram Ludäscher, Clifford Lynch. Tempe, Arizona, USA: Arizona State University School of Human Evolution & Social Change. 2014 ( tDAR id: 392821) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8K938GG

Individual & Institutional Roles

Sponsor(s): national Science Foundation

Record Identifiers

National Science Foundation(s): BCS 12-02413

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InfrastructureInvestmentsReport.pdf 187.92kb May 3, 2014 11:10:37 AM Public