Dr. Julian Richards, workshop Wednesday 14 February

As part of Dr. Julian Richards’ visit to the SF Bay Area, he will give a workshop open to the public.

TIME: Wed 14 Feb, 2-5pm. PLACE: 2251 College Building, room 101

Workshop Title: “Best practices in the digital recording, archiving, preservation and diseemination of archaeological research”

This workshop is designed to get us thinking about the stewardship of digital heritage resources as actively as we think about the stewardship of the physical heritage resources themselves. We will discuss comprehensive workflows that integrate best practices of standards in digital preservation with the diverse standards of practice for documenting cultural heritage (especially those deemed “archaeological”) sites.

The workshop will be run as a “master-class”. Students will have prepared a plan of how they will digitally document, archive, preserve, and share the data from their proposed projects, according to the requirements now stipulated in the NSF Guidelines to Project Proposals, and other government funding bodies:

The workshop will be divided into three parts:
Part 1: Given the ephemeral nature of digital content, and the intractable potential costs for their preservation long-term, we will discuss the decision-making principles involved in formulating a strategy for digitally documenting an archaeological project and for preserving that digital record. What technological solutions are of lowest risk and highest impact for heritage documentation? We will point to real-world standards in practice that are effective.

Part 2: Frameworks for defining the digital universe of digital technologies and practices already in use in heritage recording and archiving. While best practices and standards are useful when followed, the majority of legacy information for cultural heritage is squirreled away in hard drives, outdated software applications and outmoded methodologies. In this part we will also discuss making transparent the process of decision-making by documenting the steps in archaeological fieldwork and digital informatics – from photography, lab work, scanning, modeling, etc. Documenting documentation is rarely done to a sufficient level, for it is time consuming and the perceived, present value is minimal.

Part 3: Sharing our Digital Heritage. We will end our discussion with some time dedicated to digital dissemination, from Powerpoint and email to weblogs and websites. In the Web 2.0 world, how can we leverage the fast changing power of sharing and social networking while also being cognizant of the fragile and ephemeral nature of the form?

For the “master-class” students of Anthro 229b (and others who might want to prepare for the workshop) we suggest the following preliminary reading:

Explore thoroughly the Archaeological Data Service website, especially the best practices documents. Look at the document “Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to Good Practice 2nd Edition”

Reading :
Richards, J.D. 2001 Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian Cottam: linking digital publication and archive. Internet Archaeology 10.
Richards, J.D 2002 Digital Preservation and Access. European Journal of Archaeology 5(3):343-366.
Richards, J.D 2006 Archaeology, e-publication and the semantic web. Antiquity 80:970-979.
Ashley, M. 2002 Real Webs and Virtual Excavations: A role for digital media recording in archaeological site management. Paper presented at the UNESCO World Heritage Center Virtual Congress, Mexico City.
Lock, G. 2003 Using Computers in Archaeology. Routledge, New York.ch 6-7
We will also discuss a new unpublished report by Plog, S., R. Leventhal, W. Martin, J. King and F. Neiman 2007 The Need for a Center for Digital Archaeology, pp. 1-32.


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