Archives for category: General

Fleur Schinning, a graduate student at Leiden University, is asking for responses to a questionnaire she has devised about your use of various archaeological blogs (including this one).

It doesn’t take long so take a look here: and you might even get six issues of Archaeology Magazine.


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.


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.


Kristina Neumann, one of our PhD candidates in the Department of Classics at UC, will be giving a presentation soon on her work with the Google Earth database mentioned here earlier.  She has done amazing things with this database and created a series of KML files that allows her to express the reach of Antioch coinage in a stunning way.

This paper is part of the joint AIA/APA meetings in Chicago happening now. See it in session 5D at 12:30 on Saturday January 4.

In ancient times, much like now, authorities determined which foreign currency was accepted in a community. For Neumann, this made coins an ideal representation of a political relationship among cities. For example, if lots of Antiochene coins were discovered in a neighboring city, it’s likely a political agreement existed between the two governments.

Coins were also a data-rich resource for Neumann. In addition to tracking where the coins were found, she cataloged critical information about a coin — such as when it was minted and under whose authority it was made — that has been derived from the images and inscriptions imprinted on it. Other artifacts, like pottery, were less likely to have such identifiers.

Neumann uses Google Earth to convert the vast information in her coin database into a visual representation of Antioch’s political borders. She analyzes how the software plots which coins were found where and in what quantity across different historic time periods. This way she can follow the transformation of Antioch’s political influence as it was absorbed by the Roman empire.

She has found Antioch’s civic coins were spread farther out than previously theorized, and they were particularly abundant along a known trade route. Neumann can scan centuries of change in seconds with Google Earth to show the overall contraction of Antioch’s political authority but also its continued and evolving influence in selected regions and cities — and eventually its greater integration within the empire.

Google Earth allows Kristina Neumann to track change in Antioch as it was absorbed by the Roman Empire.

Her talk is already getting some news attention, which I have been tracking here.