March 2010

“For many years the German Archaeological Institute [Deutsches Archäologisches Institut or DAI] has been compiling the Archaeological Bibliography which has established itself as an essential research tool in the area of ancient cultures of the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2002 it has been freely available on the internet and offers a thesaurus based systematical search in addition to common search options. The Archaeological Bibliography is being expanded on a daily basis by the departments in Rome, Athens, Istanbul and the head office in Berlin and now comprises approx. 400,000 title references. The German Archaeological Institute endeavours to enhance its research and information facilities – a challenge which we can only approach with your help. Hence, we would like to kindly ask you to participate in our online poll, available in Englisch, German, Greek and Italian. The survey will be evaluated anonymously.”


Thursday April 15 is apparently THE DAY for DDIG members at the 75th annual SAA meeting in St. Louis. The Digital Data Interest Group meeting will take place on Thursday at 5pm. This meeting is open to all SAA conference attendees, regardless of DDIG membership (which is free, by the way!). Come share news about your digital project, discuss best practices for data dissemination, and meet others in the DDIG community. We hope to see you there!

In addition to the DDIG meeting, a number of technology-related sessions are offered throughout the day. Please mark these on your calendar!

Sessions of interest to DDIGers, Thursday April 15:

(12) 8-10:30am: Fourm: Establishig tDAR: The Digital Archaeological Record

(24) 10:45am-12:45pm: Electronic Symposium: Practical Methods of Data Production, Dissemination and Preservation

(76) 3-4pm: Key Issues in Digital Curation

(MEETING) 5-6pm: Digital Data Interest Group Meeting

(93) 6:15-9pm: Forum: Digging Up the Future of Publishig: The Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative

Other presentations of interest:

In addition to the above, there are many individual papers and posters that address the use of technologies and digital data in archaeological investigations. However, please review the full program to find others, as this list is not exhaustive.

(21) Thurs, 8:45am: Heather Smith, Thomas DeWitt and Ted Goebel—Digital Shape Analysis of Clovis Projectile Points

(26e, Poster) Thurs, 9am: Patrick Livingood—Digital Image Analysis of Shell Temper from the Moon Site (3Po488), Arkansas

(147) Fri, 1:30: Neil Hauser, Wayne Wilson and Robert Wunderlich—Web-Based Lithic Source Database

(160) Fri, 2:30: Ronald Blom, Douglas Comer, Scott Hensley and Andrew Yatsko—Remote Sensing Data and Archaeolog: Ingredients for Success

(160) Fri, 2:45: James Tilton, Douglas Comer, Kevin May and Winston Hurst—Towards Automated Detection of Archaeological Sites utilizing Remotely Sensed Imagery

(163f, Poster) Fri, 3pm: Ruth Trocolli and Shagun Raina—GIS and Archaeological Data Management in the Nation’s Capitol

(164f, Poster) Fri, 3pm: Michael Heilen and Jeffrey Altschul—Analyzing Archaeological Data Quality: Recent Results from Military Installations in the United States

(183a, Poster) Sat 9am: David Massey, Ayse Gürsan-Salzmann and Anne Bomalaski—Managing the Legacy Data from the University of Pennsylvania’s Survey and Excavation at Tepe Hissar in North Eastern Iran (1931-2, 1976) through GIS

(189) Sat, 10am: Fabrizio Galeazzi and Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco—The Western Han Dynasty Museum: from the 3D data collection to the 3D spatial analysis

(222) Sat, 2:30: Benjamin Carter—Wonking the Data: Broad Scale Patterns Derived from 50,000 Data Points on Tiny Shell Beads from Ecuador

(216) Sat, 3:15: Sarah Whitcher Kansa and Eric Kansa—Of Glass Houses and Ground Stone: Open Data and Ground Stone Analyses

(249) Sun, 9:45: Rory Becker—Lasers on the Landscape: Using LiDAR Data in Cultural Resource Management

(252) Sun, 8am: Kevin Pape—The Millennium Pipeline Project – A Model for Interdisciplinary Partnerships and Integrated Archaeological Data Management

At the occasion of the spat between Google and the Chinese government, Reuters reports: “More than three-quarters of scientists in China use the search engine Google as a primary research tool and say their work would be significantly hampered if they were to lose it, a survey showed on Wednesday.” Just in case anyone still doubted how much today’s scholars rely on Google and the cornucopia of research and information available on the web, esp. in developing countries. “… asked by the Nature journal how much they rely on Google said it was vital for finding academic papers, information about discoveries or other research programs and finding scholarly literature.” “… science in China would not come to a halt without Google, but the search engine had ‘has transformed information-seeking behaviors in academic communities.’”

In the Ancient World Bloggers Group blog (AWBL), an interesting discussion was brought to my attention on the impact (or lack thereof) of anthropological blogs on the discipline. The Savage Minds blog features prominently as it was quoted in the title of a recent American Anthropologist article by David H. Price. Savage Minds has a blog post on the AA article, with comments. AWBL contributor Michael E. Smith notes:

“I haven’t seen anything remotely similar in archaeology. AWBG occasionally gets some interesting discussion going, and I’ve seen a few interesting discussions on other blogs here and there. I often post things on Publishing Archaeology that are deliberately provocative, hoping to generate discussion. But almost all of the interesting responses I’ve gotten have come in the form of emails to me, NOT comments on the blog. People want to respond, but evidently don’t feel comfortable doing that in a public venue. I don’t have any grand conclusions, just a sense of disappointment that archaeology doesn’t yet seem to have a vibrant and exciting intellectual venue on the internet. But anthropology sure does – check out Savage Minds, its great.”