Open Context: Web-based research data publishing

“Open Context reviews, edits, annotates, publishes and archives research data and digital documentation. We publish your data and preserve it with leading digital libraries. We take steps beyond archiving to richly annotate and integrate your analyses, maps and media. This links your data to the wider world and broadens the impact of your ideas….”

Home – The Alexandria Archive Institute

“The Alexandria Archive Institute is a non-profit technology company that preserves and shares world heritage on the Web, free of charge. Through advocacy, education, research, and technology programs like Open Context, we pioneer ways to open up archaeology and related fields for all….”

Ancient Hittite cuneiform scripts will soon be accessible online

“Now, the Hittites’ texts, which were written in cuneiform, are being made fully accessible online. The collection will be based on around 30,000 documents, most of which are written in the Hittite language, but other languages such as Luwian and Palaic will also be represented to a lesser extent. Participating in the joint project are researchers from the universities of Mainz, Marburg, and Würzburg, as well as of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. The Thesaurus Linguarum Hethaeorum digitalis (TLHdig) project will receive about EUR 520,000 in funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) over the next three years….”

Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe (DALME)

“The DALME project and team are based in the Department of History at Harvard University with collaborations extending across North America and Europe. Working in the interests of documentary archaeology, we transcribe and publish archival documents that identify ordinary household objects, tools, equipment, commodities, and other elements of material culture. Team members and collaborators include archaeologists, art historians, historians, and literary scholars. We are eager to extend our collaborations with all scholars interested in the material culture of late medieval Europe; please reach out to us.

Our work is currently sorted into two major research initiatives or documentary corpora. Households and Things in Medieval Europe features household or estate inventories from a number of regions of Europe. The Object as Commodity presents information relative to object values and the role that objects can serve as commodities or economic goods. Within each corpus, members of the DALME team and project associates have created individual collections defined either by geography or theme.

The existing collections include records in Latin and a number of vernaculars. These collections are fully searchable in their original languages; our Search page offers suggestions on how to search, filter, or browse the collection.”

Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe (DALME)

“The DALME project and team are based in the Department of History at Harvard University with collaborations extending across North America and Europe. Working in the interests of documentary archaeology, we transcribe and publish archival documents that identify ordinary household objects, tools, equipment, commodities, and other elements of material culture. Team members and collaborators include archaeologists, art historians, historians, and literary scholars. We are eager to extend our collaborations with all scholars interested in the material culture of late medieval Europe; please reach out to us.

Our work is currently sorted into two major research initiatives or documentary corpora. Households and Things in Medieval Europe features household or estate inventories from a number of regions of Europe. The Object as Commodity presents information relative to object values and the role that objects can serve as commodities or economic goods. Within each corpus, members of the DALME team and project associates have created individual collections defined either by geography or theme.

The existing collections include records in Latin and a number of vernaculars. These collections are fully searchable in their original languages; our Search page offers suggestions on how to search, filter, or browse the collection.”

Destroyed Ancient Temple Now Open for Virtual Exploration

“Five years after its destruction, the ancient Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria has been digitally reconstructed by the UC San Diego Library’s Digital Media Lab (DML) using cutting-edge 3D methods and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Inspired by a past collaboration between the Library and UC San Diego’s Levantine Archaeology Laboratory, this project has resulted in the digital preservation of more than a dozen lost reliefs, sculptures, frescos and paintings, all made publicly available on the Library’s Digital Collections website….”

3D Printing and the Murky Ethics of Replicating Bones

“TEN YEARS AGO, it wasn’t possible for most people to use 3D technology to print authentic copies of human bones. Today, using a 3D printer and digital scans of actual bones, it is possible to create unlimited numbers of replica bones — each curve and break and tiny imperfection intact — relatively inexpensively. The technology is increasingly allowing researchers to build repositories of bone data, which they can use to improve medical procedures, map how humans have evolved, and even help show a courtroom how someone died.

But the proliferation of faux bones also poses an ethical dilemma — and one that, prior to the advent of accessible 3D printing, was mostly limited to museum collections containing skeletons of dubious provenance. Laws governing how real human remains of any kind may be obtained and used for research, after all — as well as whether individuals can buy and sell such remains —  are already uneven worldwide. Add to that the new ability to traffic in digital data representing these remains, and the ethical minefield becomes infinitely more fraught. “When someone downloads these skulls and reconstructs them,” says Ericka L’Abbé, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, “it becomes their data, their property.”…”

SocArXiv Papers | How to align disciplinary ideals with actual practices: Transparency and openness in archaeological science

Abstract:  Archaeology is a highly diverse community of researchers without universally adopted methods,concepts, or theoretical perspectives. One ideal that unites us is that we typically perceive of ourselves as contributing to the public good by helping to understand and preserve the past (Chippindale 1994). We act as stewards for archaeological sites and artefacts, and we work to correct misinformed views of the past that might have sinister motives. However, many of the current norms of archaeological practice are at odds with these ideals of archaeology. We share relatively little of our research with each other or the public. Typically we produce a journal article or monograph as a final product, but we rarely share the data files or computational methods that generated those final products, nor do we share our written work in ways that are readily accessible to the public. This suggests a gap between current practice and ideals. It also limits the reproducibility of our research, and the efficiency with which new methods can spread through the discipline. We show that an exploration of this mismatch between ideals and practice can reveal untapped potential for digital tools in archaeology to improve its sustainability as a research domain, and indicate new ways to engage with the public. We describe emerging norms in archaeology, and some new digital tools that archaeologists are using, that are helping to close the gap between ideals and current practices.

Ancient history – modern lessons: Can a new wave of Classics scholars save the world? (Paid Content by University of Warwick from The Chronicle of Higher Education) – The Chronicle of Higher Education

[Note that this piece is not a news piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education, but “Paid for and created by University of Warwick.”]

“This is an incredibly exciting time to study the ancient world Scott argues. Because now new technologies are enabling the advance of research and teaching techniques in classics and ancient history and the subject is shooting off into exciting new areas of study and ways of understanding the people of the ancient world. He explains: “The digital revolution allows us to explore these worlds in more depth or in ways we hadn’t imagined before. Virtual reality brings places and situations to life for us, if we can’t get there in person. 3D printing allows us to recreate artefacts and from there we can recreate scenes from ancient history.” …”