Issue: Internet Archaeology 13

Publication Type:
Title: Internet Archaeology 13
Year of Publication: 2003
Volume: 13
Number of Pages: 0
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Jennifer Harland
James H Barrett
John B Carrott
Keith M Dobney
Deborah Jaques
This article presents the York System, a database used for recording animal bones. It is based on the recording protocol used at the Department of Archaeology, University of York, and incorporates that used at the former Environmental Archaeology Unit. The York System has been designed in Access 2000 and includes the commonly identified British mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian species. Emphasis has been placed on database flexibility, within a framework of inter-analyst comparability. The system can be used by experienced zooarchaeologists, while an integrated help file has been included to guide students through the recording process. This article presents the recording protocol behind the database as well as a background to the database design process. A web-based demonstration is provided that replicates the actions of the database, while copies of the database and associated help files are provided for downloading.
Kate Fernie
This article looks at the possibilities, opportunities and the difficulties of bringing together content about the historic environment on the Internet. Based on the experiences of HEIRNET (the Historic Environment Information Resources Network - a network of organisations from across the heritage sector) it looks at initiatives that are exploring the evolution of an integrated information environment in which archaeologists might interact with resources drawn from different organisations. HEIRNET was formed in 1998 in recognition that increasing numbers of individuals and organisations are creating valuable information resources about different aspects of the historic environment and that both conservation managers and researchers faced difficulties in accessing these resources. HEIRNET has responded with a number of initiatives. The creation of an Internet-based register of historic environment information resources is intended to help users to discover potentially interesting resources and, by providing up-to-date contact details, to help people to make use of those resources. HEIRNET members have also been working together to explore the development of a web-portal for the historic environment -- HEIRPORT. This portal exploits computer communications technology to enable users to carry out simultaneous searches of four geographically separate databases: the Archaeology Data Service, the National Monuments Record for Scotland, the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network and the Portable Antiquities programme. This article looks at what is involved in developing these resources -- the metadata, the communications protocols used and the importance of co-operation between individuals and communities.
Mirjana Roksandic
Even though visual recording forms are commonly used among human osteologists, very few of them are published. Those that are lack either detail or manipulability. Most anthropologists have to adapt these or develop their own forms when they start working on skeletal material, or have to accompany the visual forms with detailed, often time consuming, textual inventories. Three recording forms are proposed here: for adult, subadult and newborn skeletons. While no two-dimensional form will fit the requirements of every human osteologist, these forms are sufficiently detailed and easy to use. Printed or downloaded, they are published here in the belief that, with feedback from the anthropological community at large, they have the potential to become standard tools in data recording.
J A Christen
The integrated calibration of radiocarbon determinations and contextual information based on Bayesian statistical inference is known as `Bayesian calibration'. Bayesian calibration was developed in the 1990s and there is software available, or under development, to perform various different types of applications: BCal, OxCal, Cal25 or CalPal; see also BCal, in Internet Archaeology. However, no software is available for performing fully Bayesian wiggle-matching including an outlier analysis. Wiggle-matching is used when a floating chronology of radiocarbon dates needs to be fixed in the calendar scale. In this article the technique of Bayesian wiggle-matching is outlined, including outlier considerations, and an explanation given of the type of results obtained. In particular the usage of the software Bwigg is described, an Internet-based software for Bayesian wiggle-matching.
L A Symonds
R J Ling
Landscape has always been an important aspect of archaeological research. Recently there has been emphasis placed not on the identification of specific sites and artefacts but on past attitudes towards social interaction within the landscape. This has stimulated debate on how people, both as individuals and collective societies, understand space and human action. Many of these studies integrate computer applications and quantitative methods with current theoretical agendas focusing on landscape and social practice. The combination of theory and practice is essential to archaeological enquiry, enabling hypotheses to stand upon firm data. This article explores theoretical understandings of space and landscape and the practical application of these agendas in a study which focuses on the production and consumption of artefacts, specifically pottery, in Anglo-Scandinavian Lincolnshire. Many archaeological approaches to landscape studies involve the ways in which monuments and monumental landscapes structure and are structured by the societies which built them and inhabited them. Alternatively, this article focuses on how the social practices associated with the production and consumption of pottery participated in the social cognition of the landscape. It specifically concentrates on how travel practices can be associated with artefact distributions by measuring the distances in hours rather than kilometers, travelling beneath the crows rather than following their straight line of flight. Much of the analysis and exploration of the data was done via a GIS (Geographical Information System). In order to simulate this interactive process, java applets were employed to allow the reader to investigate the patterns of data for themselves. This enables the author and reader to establish a discourse through the reader's participation in the cognitive processes involved in the analysis of data and the interpretation of maps and landscape.