Digital humanities-and-archaeology

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

Text of Digital humanities-and-archaeology

  • 1. Digital Humanitiesand ArchaeologyBy Noreen WhyselLIS 657 Digital Humanities

2. Archaeology is Material study A way to reconstruct history A way to supply evidence where there is no writtenrecord 3. Goals of Archaeology Find the material remains of our ancestors Unearth those remains in ways that maximize theinformation they can convey Interpret the evidenceWhat about Preservation? 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. Todays Topics Computing in Archaeology Archaeologys Digital Tools Preserving the Digital Record 6. Computing in Archaeology 7. Keeping Records The main occupation of a field archaeologist isrecord keeping Keeping good records is an important skill Computers are the best way to keep records Therefore, archaeologists should understand how to usecomputersSounds logical 8. Computing in Archaeology 1950s Computers were large, expensive and complicated used more for statistical analysis and mathematical modelsthan 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. 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 raisingthe standard for record keeping and demand for better andmore powerful tools. First archaeological computing conferences First archaeological computing association Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods inArchaeology, University of Birmingham, UK (1974) 10. Computing in Archaeology 1980s Personal Computing Computer Aided Design (CAD) Reconstructing Illustrating Envisioning 3D Modeling Less often, simulation More professional archaeology associations addressingcomputing at annual meetings. Archeological Computing Newsletter (1984) 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 incontext of physical environment. 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.archaeology.mesoamericansci.arch aeology.moderated Archived at Google Groups since 2001 CD-Rom World Wide Web 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. Archaeologys Digital Tools 15. Digital Elevation RenderingStanhope Topography showing Furnace Falls Dam at Lake Musconetcong, Stanhope, NJ Image courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD 16. Satellite ImageryTanis, EgyptSources: Sarah Parcak& Gregory Mumford,University Of Alabama At Birmingham; Digitalglobe 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. Ground Penetrating RadarRadar depth slice (ca. 65-70cm) from Gokstad, Norway, acquired by a 16 channel 400 MhzMlaImaging Radar Array System (MIRA)Source: Petra Schneidhofer, Dissertation Abstract, University of Vienna, Initiative College forArchaeological Prospection 19. LiDAR LiDAR is a method of generating precise and directlygeo-referenced spatial information about the shape andsurface characteristics of the Earth. Used to examine natural and built environments across awide range of scales with greater accuracy, precision,and flexibility than ever before Legacies of Resilience, SacapuAngamuco, Mexico Chris Fisher, Colorado State University. Furnace Falls Dam Mitigation, Stanhope, NJ Joel Grossman, PhD, Army Corps of Engineers 20. LiDAR Furnace Falls MitigationImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD 21. LiDAR Furnace Falls MitigationFurnace Falls, Stanhope, NJHi Res Dual Station GPS TeamSets Site Datums - January 20, 2004Temp: 14 - 170 F.LIDAR Scan Position IImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD 22. LiDAR Furnace Falls MitigationImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD 23. LiDAR Furnace Falls MitigationImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD 24. SimulationsImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD 25. Combined VisualizationsImage courtesy of Joel W. Grossman, PhD 26. Programs for Archaeology Bonn Archaeological Software Package (BASP) 70+ functions for seriation, clustering, correspondenceanalysis, and mapping; includes programs for threedimensional display of data, finding rectangular structures inscanned excavation plans, and rectification of extremelyoblique aerial photographs and their superimposition onlarge-scale scanned maps. TimeMap TimeMapTMJava is a novel mapping applet whichgenerates complete interactive maps with a few simple linesof html. 27. Preserving the Digital Record 28. Archaeologists Profile Varied Background Historians Art historians Linguists Anthropologists Computer training 29. Publishing in Archaeology Electronic publishing CD, websites Web monographs, web journals like Internet Archaeology Better, cheaper color graphics Shorter lifespan, degrading technology, ephemeral webpages Need: e-published databases, CAD models, GIS databases Born digital artifacts are best stored digitally 30. E-Publishing and Archiving Hybrid print and digital projects Electronic data Analysis Synthesis Expository text 31. Online Libraries WWW Virtual Library Site for Archaeology ARGE - Archaeological Resource Guide for Europe VLMP - WWW Virtual Library for Museums World Lecture Hall - Anthropology and Archaeology "the lithics site": a resource for archaeological lithicanalysts (1999-) 32. Online Communities Arqueologia Digital - Brazilian online network forarchaeology practitioners 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. Solutions - Communication Archaeological Data Service (UK) Repository for electronic project data. Provides guides and best practices for software and datatools like CAD and GIS Standards of software companies dont always cover theways that archaeologists use them. 35. Solutions - Supercomputers Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Institute ofClassical Archaeology, University of Texas A leading partner with Extreme Science and EngineeringDiscovery Environment (XSEDE) Digs that Ive participated in have produced informationthat is now digitally gone because the platforms and thestorage mechanisms became obsolete, and thats in thespace of ten years. When we look down the road and ask, What will we leavefor people 25 years from now, 100 years from now? werefaced with a huge issue that people are just starting toconfront. The use of new tools outpaced the concern aboutthe future.--Dr. Adam Rabinowitz, Assistant Director 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. Solutions: Preservation Virtual World Heritage Laboratory University of Virginia SAVE: Serving and Archiving Virtual Environments Several thousand scientific 3D digital models of culturalartifacts have been created over the past decade as digitalhumanists have embraced new 3D technologies. Ironically,the scholars who have worked so hard to preserve theworlds cultural heritage have rarely paid attention to howtheir own contributions will survive in the coming decades. 38. SAVE Server ModelSource: Virtual World Heritage Laboratory 39. Conferences CAA Conference, March 2013, Perth Australia Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods inArchaeology Archaeologists, mathematics and computer scientists DigiDoc 2012, Edinburgh Scotland Cyark Archaeology, architecture, heritage and design TAG Conference, 2013, Chicago Theoretical Archaeology Group intersection of archaeology with critical theory, philosophy, andanthropology (especially visualizations) 40. Bibliography Archaeology Data Service. (n.d.) [website]. Retrieved from Blackwell, S. (2004). A Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. SusanSchreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unswor