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Digital humanities-and-archaeology

Presentation to Digital Humanities class at Pratt Institute on the history of computing in the field of archaeology and current digital humanities projects.

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Digital humanities-and-archaeology

  1. 1. Digital Humanitiesand ArchaeologyBy Noreen WhyselLIS 657 Digital Humanities
  2. 2. Archaeology is… Material study A way to reconstruct history A way to supply evidence where there is no written record
  3. 3. Goals of Archaeology Find the material remains of our ancestors Unearth those remains in ways that maximize the information they can convey Interpret the evidence What about Preservation?
  4. 4. Archaeological Methods Excavation: the principal method of data acquisition in archaeology, involving the systematic uncovering of archaeological remains through the removal of the deposits of soil and the other material covering them and accompanying them. Surface survey: field-walking, i.e. scanning the ground along ones path and recording the location of artifacts and surface features. A systematic survey involves a grid system, such that the survey area is divided into sectors and these are walked systematically. Problem  Both methods cause destruction of the site  Both methods remove objects from physical context Solution  Careful record keeping
  5. 5. Today‟s Topics Computing in Archaeology Archaeology‟s Digital Tools Preserving the Digital Record
  6. 6. Computing in Archaeology
  7. 7. Keeping Records The main occupation of a field archaeologist is record keeping  Keeping good records is an important skill  Computers are the best way to keep records  Therefore, archaeologists should understand how to use computers Sounds logical
  8. 8. Computing in Archaeology 1950s  Computers were large, expensive and complicated  used more for statistical analysis and mathematical models than for record keeping 1960s  Data begins to be kept in large databanks  Data processing required computer code  Not many archaeologists had programming skills  Not many projects had the budget to hire programmers
  9. 9. Computing in Archaeology 1970s  Microcomputers - Powerful data storage and retrieval  dBase: database software, simple to learn and use  Graphic rendering programs and rudimentary GIS  New tools allow greater granularity of recorded data raising the standard for record keeping and demand for better and more powerful tools.  First archaeological computing conferences  First archaeological computing association  Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, University of Birmingham, UK (1974)
  10. 10. Computing in Archaeology 1980s  Personal Computing  Computer Aided Design (CAD)  Reconstructing  Illustrating  Envisioning  3D Modeling  Less often, simulation  More professional archaeology associations addressing computing at annual meetings.  Archeological Computing Newsletter (1984)
  11. 11. Computing In Archaeology Mid-1980s  GIS: Geographic Information Systems  Standard relational data tables (object data)  Linked to coordinates on a map (points, lines)  Linked to information derived from map data (grade, contours, boundaries)  GIS allows archaeologists to analyze material remains in context of physical environment.
  12. 12. Computing in Archaeology 1990s  Usenet distributed internet discussion system  alt.archaeology (earliest available article from 1995)
sci.archaeology(earliest available article from 1991) Mesopotamia)
sci.arch aeology.moderated  Archived at Google Groups since 2001  CD-Rom  World Wide Web
  13. 13. Computing in Archaeology 1990s-2000s  New surveying methods  Photo: desktop photogrammetry, aerial photography, satellite imagery  Geological: magnetometers, electrical resistance meters, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic (EM) conductivity  LiDAR Mapping: Light Detecting and Ranging  Remote sensing technology
  14. 14. Archaeology‟s Digital Tools
  15. 15. Digital Elevation RenderingStanhope Topography showing Furnace Falls Dam at Lake Musconetcong, Stanhope, NJ Image courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD
  16. 16. Satellite ImageryTanis, Egypt Sources: Sarah Parcak& Gregory Mumford,University Of Alabama At Birmingham; Digitalglobe
  17. 17. SonarA multibeam sonar image of the late 19th century Belgian steamer,Concha. She sank in British waters after colliding with another vessel.Image by Wessex Archaeology on Flickr
  18. 18. Ground Penetrating RadarRadar depth slice (ca. 65-70cm) from Gokstad, Norway, acquired by a 16 channel 400 MhzMålaImaging Radar Array System (MIRA) Source: Petra Schneidhofer, Dissertation Abstract, University of Vienna, Initiative College for Archaeological Prospection
  19. 19. LiDAR LiDAR is a method of generating precise and directly geo-referenced spatial information about the shape and surface characteristics of the Earth. Used to examine natural and built environments across a wide range of scales with greater accuracy, precision, and flexibility than ever before Legacies of Resilience, SacapuAngamuco, Mexico  http://www.resilientworld.com  Chris Fisher, Colorado State University. Furnace Falls Dam Mitigation, Stanhope, NJ  http://www.geospatialarchaeology.com/  Joel Grossman, PhD, Army Corps of Engineers
  20. 20. LiDAR Furnace Falls MitigationImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD
  21. 21. LiDAR Furnace Falls Mitigation Furnace Falls, Stanhope, NJ Hi Res Dual Station GPS Team Sets Site Datums - January 20, 2004 Temp: 14 - 170 F. LIDAR Scan Position IImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD
  22. 22. LiDAR Furnace Falls MitigationImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD
  23. 23. LiDAR Furnace Falls MitigationImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD
  24. 24. SimulationsImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD
  25. 25. Combined VisualizationsImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD
  26. 26. Programs for Archaeology Bonn Archaeological Software Package (BASP)  http://wings.buffalo.edu/anthropology/BASP/basp.html  70+ functions for seriation, clustering, correspondence analysis, and mapping; includes programs for three dimensional display of data, finding rectangular structures in scanned excavation plans, and rectification of extremely oblique aerial photographs and their superimposition on large-scale scanned maps. TimeMap  http://www.timemap.net/  TimeMapTMJava is a novel mapping applet which generates complete interactive maps with a few simple lines of html.
  27. 27. Preserving the Digital Record
  28. 28. Archaeologists Profile Varied Background  Historians  Art historians  Linguists  Anthropologists Computer training
  29. 29. Publishing in Archaeology Electronic publishing  CD, websites  Web monographs, web journals like Internet Archaeology  Better, cheaper color graphics  Shorter lifespan, degrading technology, ephemeral web pages  Need: e-published databases, CAD models, GIS databases Born digital artifacts are best stored digitally
  30. 30. E-Publishing and Archiving Hybrid print and digital projects  Electronic data  Analysis  Synthesis  Expository text
  31. 31. Online Libraries WWW Virtual Library Site for Archaeology http://archnet.asu.edu/ ARGE - Archaeological Resource Guide for Europe http://odur.let.rug.nl/arge/ VLMP - WWW Virtual Library for Museums http://icom.museum World Lecture Hall - Anthropology and Archaeology http://web.austin.utexas.edu/wlh/ "the lithics site": a resource for archaeological lithic analysts (1999-) http://wings.buffalo.edu/anthropology/Lithics
  32. 32. Online Communities Arqueologia Digital - Brazilian online network for archaeology practitioners http://arqueologiadigital.com
  33. 33. Continued Problems Problems  Specialization divides practitioners  Few standards for  Communication  Tools  Preservation of digital data  Presentation of digital data  Lack of Computer Training
  34. 34. Solutions - Communication Archaeological Data Service (UK)  Repository for electronic project data.  Provides guides and best practices for software and data tools like CAD and GIS  Standards of software companies dont always cover the ways that archaeologists use them.
  35. 35. Solutions - Supercomputers Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Institute of Classical Archaeology, University of Texas  A leading partner with Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) “Digs that I‟ve participated in have produced information that is now digitally gone because the platforms and the storage mechanisms became obsolete, and that‟s in the space of ten years….” “When we look down the road and ask, „What will we leave for people 25 years from now, 100 years from now?‟ we‟re faced with a huge issue that people are just starting to confront. The use of new tools outpaced the concern about the future. --Dr. Adam Rabinowitz, Assistant Director
  36. 36. Solutions - Preservation Translatlantic Archaeology Gateway  Multi-national Partnership  The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) Arizona State University (USA) – Digital Antiquity  Archaeological Data Service (UK)  Mission  Repository for electronic project data.  Sustainable service for archaeological teaching, learning and research  Funded by JISC and NEH
  37. 37. Solutions: Preservation Virtual World Heritage Laboratory  University of Virginia  http://vwhl.clas.virginia.edu SAVE: Serving and Archiving Virtual Environments  “Several thousand scientific 3D digital models of cultural artifacts have been created over the past decade as digital humanists have embraced new 3D technologies. Ironically, the scholars who have worked so hard to preserve the worlds cultural heritage have rarely paid attention to how their own contributions will survive in the coming decades.”
  38. 38. SAVE Server ModelSource: Virtual World Heritage Laboratory
  39. 39. Conferences CAA Conference, March 2013, Perth Australia  http://caaconference.org  Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology  Archaeologists, mathematics and computer scientists DigiDoc 2012, Edinburgh Scotland  http://www.digitaldocumentation.co.uk  Cyark  Archaeology, architecture, heritage and design TAG Conference, 2013, Chicago  http://tag2013.uchicago.edu/cfp.html  Theoretical Archaeology Group  intersection of archaeology with critical theory, philosophy, and anthropology (especially visualizations)
  40. 40. Bibliography Archaeology Data Service. (n.d.) [website]. Retrieved from http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archsearch/ Blackwell, S. (2004). A Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell. Retrieved from http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/ The Digital Archaeological Record tDAR. (n.d.) [website]. Retrieved from http://www.tdar.org Grossman J. W. (2008). “Human-landscape interactions.” In: Encyclopedia of Archaeology, ed. by Deborah M. Pearsall. © 2008, Academic Press, New York. Grossman J. W. (2008). “Toxic and hazardous environments.” In: Encyclopedia of Archaeology, ed. by Deborah M. Pearsall. Academic Press, New York.
  41. 41. Bibliography Hopkins, C. (March 10, 2012). “Indiana Jones goes geek: Laser-mapping LiDAR revolutionizes archaeology, Arstechnica [website] Retrieved from http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/03/indiana-jones-goes-geek- laser-mapping-lidar-revolutionizes-archaeology/ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coastal Services Center. (November 2012). LiDAR 101: an introduction to LiDAR technology, data, and applications. Retrieved from http://www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/_/pdf/lidar101.pdf Texas Advanced Computing Center. (n.d.) Advanced Computing in the Humanities, Art and Social Sciences. [website] Retrieved from http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/education/humanities