The iPad is an ideal tool for field archaeology.

This blog sets out to bring together experiences of archaeologists using iPads.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Virtual archaeology uncovers secrets of ancient Rome

An Indiana University archaeo-informaticist has used virtual simulations to flip the calendar back thousands of years and show for the first time the historical significance of the unique alignment of the sun with two monuments tied to the founder of the Roman Empire.

Virtual archaeology uncovers secrets of ancient Rome
Virtual simulation image of the sun atop the obelisk with the Altar of
Peace in the foreground [Credit : Indiana University]
For nearly a half-century, scholars had associated the relationship between the Ara Pacis, the “Altar of Peace” dedicated in 9 BC to then-emperor Augustus, and the Obelisk of Montecitorio -- a 71-foot-high granite obelisk Augustus brought to Rome from Egypt -- with Augustus’ Sept. 23 birthday.

Prevailing research had found that on this day, the shadow of the obelisk -- serving as the pointer, or gnomon, of a giant sundial on the plaza floor -- would point toward the middle of the Ara Pacis, which the Roman Senate had commissioned to recognize the peace brought to the Roman Empire through Augustus' military victories.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Online in 3D: the 'grotesque beauty' of medieval Britons' diseased bones

Digitised Diseases site makes 1,600 specimens available for doctors and members of the public to study for free

A deformed skull, one of the 1,600 specimens available to explore in 3D on the Digitised Diseases website from Monday.
The bones of a young woman who died of syphilis more than 500 years ago, the reassembled jaw of a man whose corpse was sold to surgeons at the London hospital in the 19th century and the contorted bone of an 18th-century man who lived for many years after he was shot through the leg, are among the remains of hundreds of individuals which can now be studied in forensic detail on a new website.
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Google ME View: Giant now lets anyone map their surroundings and upload them using a smartphone

Google’s Street View project has mapped the landmarks of Venice, the interiors of train stations and even the Large Hadron Collider.

But now anyone can document views of their favourite locations, which might not have been visited by Google’s cameras.

Members of the public can use an Android smartphone or camera to take photographs and transform them into 'photo spheres' using ‘Views’, which is a new feature of Google Maps.

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Google lets users create own Street View

Google said the new tool will help it expand the reach and uses of Street View

Google has unveiled a new tool that allows users to create a Street View - a 360 degree virtual tour - of any place and share it using Google Maps.
These can be created by using photos taken by an Android phone or DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera.
The tool lets users connect various photos and, once published, people can navigate between them on Google Maps.
Google said the move will allow it to expand the reach as well as the uses of its maps service.
(Could be useful for virtual site tours!)
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Building is underway at The new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology, The Salisbury Museum

Anglo-Saxon satchel mount c.700 AD. Gold and Silver foils with repouss√© decoration. 
Found with the burial of an Anglo-Saxon ‘princess’ at Swallowcliffe, Salisbury.
Amesbury Archer Gold Hair Tresses - 2,300 BC. The oldest gold objects found in Britain, 
Copyright Ken Geiger/National Geographic.
Polished macehead made from gneiss found with a cremation burial at Stonehenge,  3,000 – 2,500 BC.

Building is underway at The new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology, 
The Salisbury Museum

Building has begun on the new Wessex Gallery at the Salisbury Museum, which will make it clear for the first time exactly why Salisbury and it’s nearby World Heritage Sites hold a unique place in British history.

The new gallery will be of international importance, telling the story of Salisbury and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the Norman Conquest. Realm Projects, the Nottinghamshire based builders who worked on the Hepworth Wakefield and The Jewish Museum, have been contracted to complete the works.

“By Christmas this year the major construction work will be complete,” said museum director Adrian Green with a gleam in his eye. “In roughly seven months, the new Wessex Gallery will be ready.”

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Make any database into your very own iPad app with FileMaker

If you need to hack around with some data, unless you're a specialist, you put it in Excel. It's a universal data-munging engine that lets you add, average, sort, filter, and process your data to see what the patterns might be. Excel is enormously powerful. But it's a terrible place to keep your data, still less to capture it. Typing and tabbing between fiddly little cells where copy and paste doesn't work the way it does in any other software makes data entry painful when you have a mouse and keyboard; unless you have a Windows 8 tablet with a pen like Surface Pro, you probably wouldn't attempt filling in more than the odd number in Excel on a tablet. If you need to store an inventory, a catalog, or a list of anything, what you need is a database.

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