Archaeological databases

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Not originally proposed as a group project, but may be possible - have sent an enquiry

"Adam S. Green" <>

Thank you for the note! Generally, archaeological data derive from features (material things people make that can be moved), artifacts (material things people make that can be moved), and their context (in time and space). As such there is a strong degree of spatiality to archaeological data, as even temporal context is properly derived from where an artifact or feature was found. A site is a concentration of features and artifacts at a particular location that is subject to formation processes, human and environmental. “Raw” archaeological data is most often tabulated; lists of artifacts or sites and information on the contexts from which they were found.

There are a wide range of visualizations archaeologists use to analyze, present, and interpret archaeological data. All manner of graphs and quantifications appear in archaeological research. However, my specialities revolve around digital images and three-dimensional models, relational databases, and geographical information systems that can be used to generate maps. I also do some diagraming to illustrate process and technology, but these tend to be very specialized. Here are some examples:

1) Seal density at Mohenjo-daro shows the number of a category of artifact, stamp seals, recovered from different excavated portions of an ancient city. From my thesis.

2) Plan of an excavated area from an ancient city that juxtaposes features, colored according to particular period in time, with locations from which artifacts were recovered. From my thesis.

3) and 4) Maps illustrating change in settlement location through time from the fore runner to TwoRains. (Singh et al 2011)

As an active field and data integration project, TwoRains is different from my thesis. In addition to developing novel and useful ways to visualize these kinds of data, our goal is to consistently capture and integrate data from the artifact to the sites-in-a-region scale, work with existing datasets and facilitate new entries from researchers in the field. The whole endeavor with include thousands of entries, each of may have a different range of fields. I am interested both in useful ways to work with such a heterogenous “big” dataset, and in ways to develop researcher and public-facing visualizations.