The iPad is an ideal tool for field archaeology.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Digital Archaeology changes exploration of the past


An archaeologist in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is exploring the past using the tools of the 21st century. 


Anthropology doctoral student Kevin Gartski takes notes on his iPad at Malloura,  while students work on site [Credit: Jody M. Gordon] 

Derek Counts, professor and chair of art history, and his team are looking at how new tools like iPads and 3D scanners can replace dusty notebooks, sketchpads, pencils and cameras at archaeological sites and museums. 

Paperless Archaeology 

Mobile computing (for example, with tablets, even smart phones) is becoming more and more the normal way of collecting, mapping and archiving information, says Counts. For the past several summers, Counts's archaeological project at the site of Athienou-Malloura on the island of Cyprus, has implemented protocols for using tablets in the field.

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Beyond Angkor: How lasers revealed a lost city


Deep in the Cambodian jungle lie the remains of a vast medieval city, which was hidden for centuries. New archaeological techniques are now revealing its secrets - including an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering.
In April 1858 a young French explorer, Henri Mouhot, sailed from London to south-east Asia. For the next three years he travelled widely, discovering exotic jungle insects that still bear his name.
Today he would be all but forgotten were it not for his journal, published in 1863, two years after he died of fever in Laos, aged just 35.
Mouhot's account captured the public imagination, but not because of the beetles and spiders he found.
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Viking Ireland - the Videos


In order to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf, the National Museum of Ireland have produced a superb set of videos depicting various aspects of Viking Age Ireland.

You can find the Museum’s Website for these videos here…

Or you can find the individual videos on Youtube:
Viking Ireland 1 – Weapons – The Axe

Viking Ireland 2 – Weapons – The Sword


Viking Ireland 3 – Viking Wealth and Trade


Viking Ireland 4 – Viking Women in Ireland


Viking Ireland 5 – Arrival of Vikings and Beliefs


Viking Ireland 6 – The Irish and the Vikings


Viking Ireland 7 – Daily Life in Viking Ireland


Viking Ireland 8 – Legacy of the Vikings in Ireland


TAG 2014: OK Computer? Digital Public Archaeologies in Practice


Call for Papers

Community or public archaeology has often emphasised communities defined by an attachment to place, often defined by the archaeological site (cf. Simpson 2008); increasingly digital technologies allow a breakdown of this privileging of physical place and the concept of ‘community’ (cf. Waterton 2005; 2010), to connect geographically disparate populations. Digital public archaeology projects have emphasised crowd-sourcing, engagment, dissemination, and publicity using blogs, social media, webfeeds and so on (e.g. Richardson 2012, 2013; Bonacchi et al. 2012). As well as the challenges and opportunities relevant to other public archaeology projects, work which includes a significant digital public archaeology component has a series of more specific concerns. Increasingly the need for archaeologists to engage thoughtfully with digitally technologies has been recognised by a number of organisations (Archaeological Data Service 2010; Heritage Lottery Fund 2012; Institute of Archaeologists 2012), and greater numbers of projects are defined by their predominantly digital work. As a result there are implications both for local site-specific practice by people working as archaeologists — where we are “…progressively transforming a ‘‘world of scarcity’’ into one of ‘‘saturation’’, where space is no more an issue…” (Bonacchi 2012); the wider political context in which people interested in heritage operate (Richardson 2012, 2014); and how different interest groups including intelligent and critical consumers work in the historic environment “…without any professional or academic input whatsoever…” (Moshenka 2008).

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Digital Epigraphy


The Oriental Institute has released a new book titled Digital Epigraphy, a manual for the methods that they are using to record items found in their Epigraphic Survey.
During the past several decades the Epigraphic Survey has refined its conventions and recording methodologies to fit with the widely divergent nature of the inscribed surfaces we record and the changing conditions in Egypt that are resulting in the accelerating decay of those inscribed surfaces. For the past two years we have been experimenting with new digital tools, software, and equipment that have allowed us to streamline our recording process while still achieving the highest degree of accuracy, the bottom line of any scientific documentation. It has always been our aim to share these conventions and methodologies with our friends and colleagues, and it is our great pleasure to present the initial results here now. The digital formats in which this manual is made available are particularly appropriate and will be updated and changed regularly, since the manual will always be a work in progress. The possibilities are limitless.
The free volume is available from their website as either a PDF or ePub book.

Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK


Two weeks ago now saw the return of the OSGIS conference in Nottingham, after a year off in 2013 for FOSS4G. I think there had been mixed feelings about this event; those of us heavily involved in the organisation of FOSS4G 2013 had taken a back seat this year, and with FOSS4G 2014 imminent in Portland, it was clearly going to be a smaller scale get together.
I have to say that overall, my impression is that small is good! Small allows you to chat to everyone, see everything you want to see, and generally enjoy, rather than rush around like a mad man or woman. It was nice to see some new faces, and to see a number of papers from local government and business, belying the idea that OSGIS is primarily an academic event. Thanks as always to the chaps at Nottingham for organising.
Astun had a strong showing at the event, with two workshops and two presentations. My colleague Matt Walker did a workshop on OpenLayers3 and Leaflet, and I did one on WPS and PgRouting (a beginners guide). I did a quick introduction to Portable GIS, and another colleague Antony Scott did a comparison to web servers. You can see the workshops at the Astun Technology GitHub pages. As a slight techy aside, Matt and I collectively decided to try GitBookfor preparing our workshops, and we’re both very impressed. If you’re interested in a cheeky workflow for pushing a gitbook directly to GitHub gh-pages, see this gist.
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