Managing Archaeological Data in the Digital Age: Best Practices and Realities

This past week, Deb Brown, who co-organized our panel at the Archaeological Institute of America’s annual meeting made the talks available on the YouTubes.

All the papers were very solid on this panel and it provides a nice overview of the state of the field. I offered a reflection on the paper in their immediate aftermath here and have more to say on the topic in here. Keep your eyes open for the next issue of Near Eastern Archaeology for some additional thoughts on the topic (with a more practical perspective) by David Pettegrew, Sam Fee, and me. (Hopefully we can make a pre-print of that available sometime soon.)

So here are the papers in one handy place.

Archaeological Data and Small Projects: A Case Study from the Pyla-Koustopetria Archaeological Project on Cyprus. William R. Caraher (UND), R. Scott Moore (IUP), David K. Pettegrew (Messiah College), and Sam Fee (Washington and Jefferson College)

Digital Archaeology and the 100-Year Archive: Experiments in Field Recording, Dissemination, and Long-Term Data Preservation at Chersonesos (Crimea, Ukraine). Adam Rabinowitz, University of Texas at Austin, Jessica Trelogan, University of Texas at Austin, and Maria Esteva, University of Texas at Austin

Ur Digitization Project: Creating a Digital Research Tool for a Divided Collection. William B. Hafford, University of Pennsylvania Museum

The Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS): A New Practical Approach for Archives, Scholarly Access, and Learning. Timothy E. Gregory, The Ohio State University, and Jon M. Frey, Michigan State University

Providing for Access to and Preservation of Archaeological Information Using Digital Technology. Francis P. McManamon, Arizona State University, Adam Brin, Arizona State University, Mary Whelan, Arizona State University.

Lucie Wall Stylianopoulos, Discussant, on Managing Archaeological Data:


  1. Reblogged this on AIA Geospatial Interest Group and commented:
    At the AIA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Deb Brown co-organized a session on managing archaeological data. The talks were recorded, and she has made them publicly available via YouTube. Bill Caraher, one of the speakers, has compiled them nicely within a single blog post.


  2. Excellent Material, thank you so much for providing.
    These lectures provided ideas that can be applied to ‘data stewardship’ ‘knowledge managment’ work I am contributing to in pharma discovery / development science. The ‘small project’ challenges are very parallel to what occurs in a subdivision or small research group in a larger organization. For an exploratory project, or non-routine work, pre-investiment in data colleciton is not feasible, thus ad hoc or non-standard data formats and storage is used. However, as mentioned by the lecturer, this is limiting to collaboration, future analysis, and “knowledge” generation. I am also interested in managing metadata associated with documents. Utilization of standard microsoft office applications, document creator, and creation date are not always stored in the file, either in the document title or body of the document, but instead appear as “created by” and “created” metadata in a windows explorer view. Future re-location of these files causes this information to be lost, and with that, the context of what area of research, what phase of development, and other implications of “name” and “date” are lost. Great stuff, thank you so much again.


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