I can hardly describe how useful the Mobilizing the Past: The Potential of Digital Archaeology workshop was last weekend. The organizers: Erin Averett, Derek Counts, Jody Gordon, and Michael Toumazou built a solid schedule of talks with a very tight thematic focus. I don’t know when I learned more in a single weekend.

Bill Caraher, the self-described resident luddite, has already posted parts one and two of his review of the workshop.

Wentworth Institute, who hosted the workshop, wasted no time getting the finished videos onto their YouTube channel so you can see the talks for yourself.

Although it wasn’t the first talk of the conference, this is my blog, so I will start with my keynote: “Why Paperless?”

The YouTube videos are almost, but not necessarily broken into the same time chunks as the sessions.

Part 1: Session One:

Part 2: Session Two (most of it, the video stops during Buxton’s talk on Underwater Exploration):

Part 3: Sessions Two and Three (starts mid-Buxton talk):

Part 4: Session Four (starts at 46:00, the video stops during Caraher’s talk):

Part 5: (starts mid-Caraher plus Round Table Discussion and Plenary Lecture: “The Ara Pacis and Montecitorio Obelisk of Augustus: a Simpirical Investigation” by Bernard Frischer (Indiana University):

 

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A February 15th deadline approaches for applications to The Institute on Digital Archaeology Method & Practice at Michigan State.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and organized by Michigan State University’s Department of Anthropology and MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, the Institute on Digital Archaeology Method & Practice will bring together archaeologists and closely associated scholars interested in developing critical, hands-on skills in digital method and practice.  Taking place on the campus of Michigan State University in 2015 (August 17-22) & 2016 (August 15-20), the institute will provide invited participants with training in key digital methods and challenge them to envision, build, and deploy a digital archaeological project over the course of the institute.

My favorite part is this:

The institute will also challenge invited attendees to envision, build, and launch a significant digital archaeological project by the end of the institute.

Building is easy. Launching is hard.

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At the end of February  (27-28) I will be attending the Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future workshop at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. The workshop is organized by members of the Athienou Archaeological Project on Cyprus, where they have been using a “digital notebook” since 2012.

The workshop’s program is an ambitious one, covering both academic and CRM archaeological data collection tools as well as the management and preservation of born digital material. As part of the events, I will deliver the keynote presentation: Why Paperless? Digital Technology and Archaeology where I will get to talk not only about work done at PARP:PS but other projects that I have been involved with prior to and since then.

This two-day, NEH-sponsored workshop brings together pioneers in archaeology and computing to discuss the use, creation, and implementation of mobile tablet technology to advance digital archaeology, i.e., fully digital recording systems to create born-digital data in the field. Session themes are aimed at facilitating presentation, demonstration, and discussion on how archaeologists around the world use tablets or other digital tools in the field and lab and how best practices can be implemented across projects. The workshop highlights the advantages and future of mobile computing and its challenges and limitations. The workshop consists of formal paper sessions and opportunities for informal discussion of the issues and themes at moderated discussions, demonstrations, round tables, and speaker meals. The workshop’s goal is to synthesize current practices and establish a blueprint for creating best practices and moving forward with mobile tablets in archaeology.

The events are free but you will have to register (by Feb 5) if you want to attend in person. If you can’t, the organizers have arranged for the conference to be live streamed. There will also be a twitter feed to follow: @MobileArc15.

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The Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data.org) is hosting a database of over 900 data repositories that cover “all academic disciplines.” The Registry is funded by the German Research Foundation and is comprised of all German institutes. However, to be included, the repository must have an English GUI to their website. Suggestions are being solicited for other repositories to be included.

Their schema is published and comments can be added to that schema until Oct. 20, 2014.

The schema treats archaeology oddly as a subject. There is a value tree for Humanities/Ancient Cultures/Prehistory/ and Classical Archaeology. There is also a separate entry for Egyptology and Ancient Near Easter Studies.

The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) and the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) get listed under the following:

  • Ancient Cultures
  • Classical Archaeology
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Humanities and Social Sciences

which strikes me as odd since tDAR, for example, is overwhelmingly non-Classical archaeology. Approaching this from an anthropological perspective would have one browsing through the ‘A’s for ‘archaeology’ or ‘anthropology’ and not finding either (anthropology is under E for Evolution-Anthropology). You can search for ‘archaeology’ in the search engine (you need the second ‘a’) and get 10 results, including the two listed above but also

The re3data.org site is supposed to join with another index of repository site Databib, and be controlled by yet a third organization, DataCite, sometime next year.

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