December 2009

On the Ancient World Online blog (AWOL), a post announced that the American Anthropological Association (AAA) is now offering open access to important journals such as American Anthropologist and Anthropology News. One important caveat though: while the former’s issues are all open access, the latter’s are only open access through 1974 and for the latest issue. In fact, the many publications listed in AAA’s AnthroSource do not have a uniform access policy. The trouble is that one can only ascertain it through trial and error: there is no explanation of the access particulars of the individual periodicals. There are at least two more types: Museum Anthropology and Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (open access for issues since 1997) vs. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology and Transforming Anthropology (since 1997 but excepting the latest issue). By the way, the editor of AWOL, Chuck Jones, maintains the Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies with 501 entries as of today, and growing! It is an excellent source.

I’ve never had the opportunity to visit the impressive ruins of volcanically-conserved Pompeii in Italy. I know it from books, articles and the occasional glimpses from TV or movies but now there’s another way to acquaint oneself with how it must’ve felt to actually walk the streets of the ancient Roman city: Google Maps Street View. For instance, you can walk around in a 3D version of the amphitheater or follow one of the streets. (with thanks to Jack M. Sasson’s agade mailing list)

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) holds its Fall 2009 Membership Meeting this coming December 14-15, in Washington, DC. As usual, the papers presented are worth checking out and will be available eventually online in some form. J. Shulman et al.’s “ARTstor Shared Shelf Initiative” looks promising: “The project intends to make it practical for institutions, large and small, to combine images created by individuals, those held by the institution, and those in ARTstor’s database—and to do so without the need for local on-site infrastructure.” C. Mitchell will present “Let’s Stop Talking About Repositories: Reinventing UC’s eScholarship Repository as an Open Access Publisher.” The keynote speaker will be B. Frischer who will talk about “Beyond Illustration: New Dimensions of 3D Modeling of Cultural Heritage Sites and Monuments.” HisVirtual World Heritage Laboratory has several projects going. I’m particularly interested in SAVE. Serving and Archiving Virtual Environments: it “will be the world’s first on-line, peer-reviewed journal in which scholars can publish 3D digital models of the world’s cultural heritage (CH) sites and monuments.”


Update: Videos of the presentations are online, e.g., B. Frischer.

When you are looking for public-domain images (handy for the underfunded archaeologist), this is a good web page to keep in mind: Wikipedia’s Public Domain Image Resources. Here are the sections:

  • 1 Wikimedia operated
  • 2 History
  • 3 Art
  • 4 Books
  • 5 Logos and flags
  • 6 Postage stamps
  • 7 Culture
  • 8 General collections
  • 9 Computer-generated public domain images
  • 10 Public domain image meta-resources
  • 11 Uncategorized links
  • 12 U.S. Government sites
  • 13 Search Engines
  • Wikipedia actually has developed its own search engine exactly for searching public-domain images: FST – Free Image Search Tool. It isn’t very user-friendly and doesn’t always return results promptly but maybe I haven’t grasped how to use it properly (or it might be improved upon in the future?). A generic “archaeology” search yields this result page.

    “Excavations at the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy, are being mapped by these archaeologists. Photographed by myself (Adrian Pingstone) in June 2007 and placed in the public domain.”

    Just stumbled across an interesting website called Archaeopix. “Archaeopix is a website associated with the Archaeology Group at Flickr. It picks photos from the pool which are available under a Creative Commons licence. This means at the very least they can be reproduced for non-commercial purposes. For more details about the licence for this image, please visit this page. For more information about this site visit this page.”