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Changing Technologies, Changing Practices - The Transformation of the Çatalhöyük Research Database

Author(s): Dominik Lukas ; Claudia Engel

Year: 2017

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Since its beginnings, the Çatalhöyük project has stood out as an early adopter of latest innovations in information technology and digital recording solutions. Consequently, a considerable effort went into keeping the technology infrastructure on site up to date, incorporating new developments, and ensuring compatibility of applications. A core component of the Çatalhöyük technology infrastructure is a central database which hosts textual and numeric records of the excavation. Excavation and Specialist teams enter data through highly customized desktop interfaces. As the teams' research goals, interpretations, and practices evolve, the database developer generates the code to implement changing requirements in the interfaces - usually during the excavation season in a very short turnaround time. Over the course of the project each of these digital humanist developers has left traces not only in the featureset and functionality of the system, but also in the source code of the application itself. In this paper we will analyze this code with qualitative and Natural Language Processing methods. We will try to unravel how technological advances and ever evolving archaeological research practices are mirrored in the history of the Çatalhöyük central database code.

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Changing Technologies, Changing Practices - The Transformation of the Çatalhöyük Research Database. Dominik Lukas, Claudia Engel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431486)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16058

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America