Category Archives: BIg Data

Rural Settlement of Roman Britain

Tim Evans

In June 2013 I wrote the first in what I planned to be a two part blog describing my work on the Rural Settlement of Roman Britain Project (henceforth RRS).  A little later than planned, here it is.

br104-1
Drawing of a columnar Roman milestone found c.1772 on the Fosse way two miles from Leicester, bearing the name Ratae (the unofficial logo for the project Web Mapping). Image from the Society of Antiquaries of London Catalogue of Drawings and Museum Objects doi:10.5284/1000409

Background

The RRS project arose from a two-stage  pilot project undertaken by Cotswold Archaeology and funded by English Heritage (now Historic England), Assessing The Research Potential of Grey Literature in the study of Roman England. This project identified the large levels of grey literature, the colloquial term for unpublished reports produced primarily through the planning process containing significant information about the Roman period.

The RRS project is being undertaken by the University of Reading and Cotswold Archaeology and funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust with additional backing from Historic England. The project has built on the pilot by reviewing all sources – traditional published journals/monographs and grey literature – for the excavated evidence for the rural settlement of Roman Britain with the over-arching aim to inform a comprehensive reassessment of the countryside of Roman Britain.
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DADAISM Project

DADAISM

The DADAISM project brings together researchers from the diverse fields of archaeology, human computer interaction, image processing, image search and retrieval, and text mining to create a rich interactive system to address the problems of researchers finding images relevant to their research.

In the age of digital photography, thousands of images are taken of archaeological artefacts. These images could help archaeologists enormously in their tasks of classification and identification if they could be related to one another effectively. They would yield many new insights on a range of archaeological problems. However, these images are currently greatly underutilized for two key reasons. Firstly, the current paradigm for interaction with image collections is basic keyword search or, at best, simple faceted search. Secondly, even if these interactions are possible, the metadata related to the majority of images of archaeological artefacts is scarce in information relating to the content of the image and the nature of the artefact, and is time intensive to enter manually.
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The ADS goes to the Houses of Parliament

parliamentary-office-science-technologyThe Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) hosted an exhibition in the Members’ Dining Room in the House of Commons on Tuesday (15th July) to which the ADS were very pleased to be invited to participate.

POST is Parliament’s in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology. POST publishes 20-30 POSTnotes each year, along with occasional longer reports and short POSTboxes. They focus on current science and technology issues and aim to anticipate policy implications for parliamentarians.

This exhibition focussed on ‘Big Data’ was arranged in collaboration with Research Councils UK, which represents the AHRC, NERC and the five other leading public sector bodies that fund research in the UK. Readers of this blog will already know of the ADS’ close relationship with the AHRC, and that we are the smallest of NERC’s data centres with a remit for science based archaeology.
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