Taming the Beast: Rock Art Data Management and Archival Strategies

Author(s): Jeremy Freeman; Victoria Munoz; Carolyn Boyd

Year: 2015


One of the most important, yet often neglected, components of any archaeological project is what happens outside of the field—processing the data. Without meticulously organizing and archiving the data we collect, these fast accumulating pieces of information become no more useful than a pile of papers pushed to the corners of our desks. Worse yet, irreplaceable data could be lost. Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center is taking measures to avoid this pitfall by developing methods for long-term management and storage of vast data sets. The organization currently manages more than 2 terabytes (TB) of visual and textual rock art data. With increasing use of sophisticated digital technology, the demand on storage space is rapidly increasing. For example, three weeks in the field this past year generated almost 750 GB of raw data alone. In the interest of inciting further discussion on archaeological data management, this paper will present the strategies employed by Shumla to organize and manage large data sets. This will include discussions on hardware and software considerations, as well as field and lab procedures implemented to ensure data integrity and longevity.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Taming the Beast: Rock Art Data Management and Archival Strategies. Victoria Munoz, Jeremy Freeman, Carolyn Boyd. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395173)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;