Digital Archaeology Meeting in New York

I’m off to New York for a meeting focused on digital archaeology hosted by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.  We’ve been asked to put together a brief presentation on how we use digital technology in our archaeological research and areas where more sophisticated use of the technology available would improve our ability to collect, analyze, and archive archaeological data.

Here’s a brief precis of what I plan to present:

1. On of my main goals for the next few years is to continue to work to streamlining the digital workflow for the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project.  Right now, we collect numerous different kinds of born data regularly (e.g. excavation data, survey data, photographs, finds records, scanned field notebooks, et c.) but it’s not done in an integrated way.  The end result is a whole series of data sets that could be integrated, but are not.

2. The lack of integrated workflow in the field has impaired our ability to bring our digital data to quick publication.  We feel that improving the level of integration will help us produce data efficiently that can sustain rigorous analysis and enables an end user to drill down (and across) from published reports to digital data of various kinds.

3.  I have also been working to create stable, public, digital data sets from legacy and analogue data.  For my work in the area of Thisvi (with data from a survey conducted in the early 1980s called the Ohio Boeotia Expedition), I have worked to migrate analog data to digital formats. This data preserves archaeological information from a landscape currently under threat and susceptible to making it accessible for new analysis in GIS.  Moreover, this work forms a model for migrating legacy data to digital formats for other small scale surveys in the Corinthia that record information about endangered or destroyed landscapes.

4. I’ve begun to also think about work at the Ohio State Excavations at Isthmia.  Over the last few years, Timothy Gregory and I have created concordances that have allowed us to integrate the context pottery from the OSU-Isthmia Excavations with the survey data from the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological SurveyIn a post last week, I’ve begun to think about how our work at integrating EKAS and OSU-Isthmia data could extend to the various other teams working at Isthmia to ensure that the data that they produced in various formats is archived and fundamentally compatible. This work would, of course, grow to include collaborating with the efforts of the American School at Corinth and in Athens to make our data available for eventual migration to a stable, long-term, integrated environment encompassing many of the American School projects in Greece.

5. The final issue is the most complex.  For PKAP, in particular, we have gathered a considerable quantity of digital video and audio and we want to begin to make this available alongside our more traditional archaeological data in immersive, multimedia environments.  This ties into the issues under point 2 above, but with the additional layer of multi and new media complexity. 

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