A Look into Our Past


October is a busy month for the world of Archaeology. There’s the International Archaeology Day (IAD) on October 19th, Archaeological Institute of America’s (AIA) Archaeology Day Fair at the Museum of Science in Boston, and over 300 archaeology events throughout the month in various parts of the world. October also kicks off Archives Month here on the ASOR Blog. ASOR was founded in 1900, so our archives span over 100 years. (Read more about our […]

Turning Dirt into Pixels

By: Colleen Morgan CLEAN * PHOTOGRAPH * DRAW * LEVEL * RECORD * SAMPLE * DIG * SORT ARTIFACTS * REPEAT In archaeological field work it is easy to become entranced. We have a cyclical mode of work, and it is this work that field archaeologists like the best, the kind that happens when the sun is shining, there’s a cool breeze at your back, and the archaeology is making sense. We clean the context, […]

Legacy Excavations and Linked Open Data: A Virtual Vision of Sir Leonard Woolley’s Ur


Figure 1: Woolley’s large workforce in action By: W.B. Hafford, University of Pennsylvania Digital data plays an ever increasing role in archaeology. Archaeologists use computers for virtually every task, from artifact recording to site mapping, and the amount of data we gather is staggering. This is a good thing, but proper management and archiving of the data can overwhelm a dig crew. Take, for example, field photos. Sir Leonard Woolley, digging at the ancient city […]

Living in the Golden Age of Open Access Archaeology

By: Mitch Allen, Left Coast Press, Inc. & Mills College Arguments over open access in scholarly publishing have crossed the radar of every scholar, publisher, or librarian not suffering from terminal senility. Open access would represent a global shift of control of scholarly publications from largely (but not exclusively) the private sector’s group of publishing houses to some as-yet-undefined group of scholarly individuals and institutions. Eric Kansa’s recent post on the ASOR blog has elevated […]

Augmented Reality, a New Horizon in Archaeology


By: Stuart Eve, University College London and L – P : Archaeology Firstly, I would like to thank Jen Fitzgerald for asking me to contribute a guest post to the ASOR Blog. I am currently undertaking a doctoral thesis at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London – researching the middle ground between phenomenological, in situ landscape investigation and computer-based analysis. My area of study is the British Bronze Age, but I hope that the […]

The Virtual World Project: Touring The Ancient World


Figure 1. The entry page of the Virtual World Project website. By: Ronald A. Simkins and Nicolae Roddy, Creighton University There is nothing quite like teaching at an archaeological site, where ancient remains almost speak out to students as witnesses of the past. Both authors have led study tours in Israel, taking students to archaeological sites like Tel Dan, Bethsaida, Megiddo, Arad, Beer-sheba, and others, lecturing there among the stones on archaeology, history, and the […]

iPads in the Field and Reflections on Archaeology’s Digital Future


By: William Caraher, University of North Dakota This past summer my excavation on Cyprus experimented with using iPads to document our excavations in the field. Since 2003, I have co-directed the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project with Prof. R. Scott Moore of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Prof. David K. Pettegrew of Messiah College. Over this time, the three of us designed our archaeological methods, in-field procedures, and data structure. During the 2012 season, we embraced the […]

Sustainability at Any Price is not Sustainable: Open Access and Archaeology

By: Eric Kansa, UC Berkeley and OpenContext.org This blog post looks at the open access debate, and notes how sustainability is as much of an ideological and political question as it is a financial issue. It is intended to follow up on previous blog posts (first, second, third) that discuss how the Aaron Swartz prosecution and death highlighted tremendous injustices in the legal framework governing scholarly communications. At this year’s Society for American Archaeology (SAA) […]

Ethics, Archaeology, and Open Access

By: Eric Kansa The issue of open access to scholarly works recently gained renewed attention following the tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist charged with felony computer and intellectual property crimes involving the mass download of articles from JSTOR. ASOR uses JSTOR as a repository for the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) and Near Eastern Archaeology (NEA)*. Eric Kansa, a member of ASOR and the Society for American Archaeology […]

Team Discovers Lost Color on the Arch of Titus’ Menorah



ASOR Benefits Boston University Students


Inda Omerefendic working on a mailing project in the ASOR office. Hi!  My name is Inda Omerefendic and I’m a sophomore in Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences studying environmental science and marine biology. I work at ASOR through the work study program at Boston University. Although archaeology isn’t part of my major, I’ve taken a couple classes and have high respect for the field.  Within the first few weeks of my “Great Discoveries […]

NSF Points to Open Context for Publishing Project Data

The National Science Foundation’s Archaeology Program links to Open Context (http://opencontext.org) as an option for grant seekers to archive and disseminate archaeological research data. See here for an example. The NSF also links to Digital Antiquity’s tDAR (http://tdar.org) project, a related effort with greater emphasis on North American archaeology. Earlier this year, the NSF announced new data sharing requirements for grantees. Grant-seekers now need to supply a plan for providing wide access and long-term preservation […]

Secrets of The Bible’s Buried Secrets

Contributed by Tristan Barako, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Providence Pictures When The Bible’s Buried Secrets premiered on PBS this past November, it was NOVA’s most watched show in the past five years, attesting to the enduring interest that biblical archaeology holds for the general public. The two-hour special was produced by Providence Pictures, where I now work as senior researcher and writer. The president/producer/director of Providence Pictures, Gary Glassman, took the unusual step of hiring me […]

Creating a Digital Archaeology Community around the Mediterranean


Contributed by Thomas E. Levy, Stephen Savage and Chaitan Baru Over the past five years, there has been a synergy of archaeological research that focuses on the application of information and digital technologies for advancing research and public outreach. One of the centers of this confluence of archaeology and computer science is researchers working in the Mediterrean lands. As part of an effort to foster a community of shared archaeological research – that takes advantage […]

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