A new report concludes that current archaeological, historic preservation, and records management laws and regulations require that digital archaeological data generated by federal agencies must be deposited in an appropriate digital repository. Such repositories will provide long-term preservation and accessibility of digital files to qualified users. Importantly, the laws and regulations cited in the report require the protection of digital archaeological records from destruction or deterioration, including from technological obsolescence.
The report was prepared by Cultural Heritage Partners (CHP), a Washington, D.C.-based law and government affairs firm with experience in cultural resource management and cultural heritage issues. CHP cites relevant requirements in the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the regulations regarding curation of archaeological collections and associated records promulgated pursuant to those statutes (36 C.F.R. 79), and the regulations promulgated by the National Archives and Records Administration (36 C.F.R. 1220.1-1220.20) that apply to all federal agencies.
These legal findings highlight the need for services like the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), an online repository managed by The Center for Digital Antiquity where digital archaeological data are properly accessible, stored, preserved and protected as legally mandated. The full report can be downloaded here.
Arizona State University retained CHP to conduct the analysis.
The Center for Digital Antiquity and ADS are proud to announce the print publication of Caring for Digital Data in Archaeology: A Guide to Good Practice. This new volume is the culmination of three years of work to update the Guides to Good Practice to cover a wider range of archaeological data and to refresh the content with up-to-date information. Based on the web version of the Guides to Good Practice, Caring for Digital Data in Archaeology provides an overview of the challenges to digital archiving and practical guidance for more common materials. The print version is intended to be used in concert with the online site which will be maintained with up-to-date information and provide more depth of content.
Caring for Digital Data in Archaeology is separated into three primary sections:
- Digital Archiving: An Introduction to this Guide focuses on the need for digital archiving through the use of two case studies as well as how to best use the guides.
- Planning for the Creation of Digital Data outlines issues surrounding data creation and capture, selecting data for digital archiving, documentation and metadata, as well as issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property rights.
- Common Digital Objects, the final section, outlines best practices specific to documents, data sets, and images. Each section covers which formats are archival, and specific issues related to each file format or type.
Copies can be pre-ordered online at: http://www.oxbowbooks.com/dbbc/caring-for-digital-data-in-archaeology.html
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has expanded their archiving efforts in tDAR to include a new set of georeferenced versions of maps of central Tikal (originally published in Tikal Report 11: Map of the Ruins of Tikal, El Peten, Guatemala by Robert F. Carr and James E. Hazard in 1961). The print maps were georeferenced and checked for accuracy by a University of Cincinnati project at Tikal, and have not been widely circulated until now. The electronic versions of these maps will be especially useful resources for archaeologists, biologists, tourists and to the managers of Tikal National Park, and are intended for use with GIS software.
Please visit https://core.tdar.org/project/390922 to view the georeferenced Tikal maps!
We are pleased to announce that the Mimbres Pottery Images Digital Database is now available in tDAR. The deposit of these digital files in tDAR was made possible with funding provided by the Mimbres Foundation.
The database contains a collection of over 9,000 images of Mimbres ceramic vessels, among the most spectacular and renowned prehistoric pottery in North America. The Mimbres archaeological culture is particularly noted for its stunning black-on-white style bowls, which were often decorated with naturalistic designs. The collection’s digital images document the painted designs on each vessel, along with associated descriptive information about the archaeological context, temporal style, and vessel form and size. You can browse the public Mimbres vessel collection here:http://core.tdar.org/project/377852. Be sure to register with tDAR (it’s easy and free) to see the images and associated database information.
Numerous collections of Mimbres pottery vessels exist, scattered across many countries and dozens of museum and private collections. The dispersed nature of these collections makes it difficult to undertake comprehensive studies of Mimbres ceramics. The image collection and database brings together visual and descriptive information from many of these collections, allowing easy access to a wealth of data. Created by Harvard Peabody Museum Curator Steven LeBlanc and Arizona State University Professor Michelle Hegmon, the extensive database contains images and data from more than 70 collections and over 80 archaeological sites.
This project, created by the Center for Digital Antiquity under contract with the United States Air Force covers documents and other digital resources from archaeological research conducted at or for Dyess Air Force Base (Dyess AFB). Dyess AFB, established in 1942 as Abilene Army Air Base (AAB), is a B1-Bomber base on 6,409-acre located in the southwest corner of Abilene, TX in Taylor County. The archaeology of the Taylor County area dates the human occupation of the area from about 12,500 B.C. into the present. Dyess AFB has at least seven recorded archaeological sites and 300 Cold War era facilities. A number of archaeological investigations of varying intensity and detail have been conducted since the 1920’s on or around Dyess AFB. The Dyess AFB cultural resource staff and US Air Force archaeologists collaborated with Digital Antiquity curators to create a digital repository of these archaeological documents and other materials.
In the tDAR archive these reports and other digital data are now readily accessible for necessary management reviews and decision-making, research and educational uses, and to ensure their long-term preservation. Air Force cultural resource staff will be able to use tDAR to access information about the archaeological resources at Dyess readily whether they are at the base, where they might be able to find a paper copy, or not. The goal of this digital archiving effort is to identify archaeological documents, data sets, images, and other materials relevant to the area within and near Dyess; obtain or create digital copies of reports, data sets, images, and other appropriate materials; check the text and illustrations of each report and redact information that should be kept “confidential;” and deposit the materials into tDAR, where they can be accessed (as appropriate) and preserved for future use.
The overall digital archiving project for the Air Force is continuing with similar efforts underway for Shaw AFB (South Carolina) and Avon Park AFB (Florida). Regarding the Dyess materials, which have never before been widely available, only a few of the documents are regarded as having confidential information, so most of the items are generally available to registered tDAR users. This tDAR collection of documents will be particularly useful for CRM contractors, teachers, and researchers who are interested in the archaeology in the area. Of special note for anyone interested in a good overview of the archaeology of the area is Nancy Kenmotsu’s 2011 report, Archaeological Needs Assessment for Dyess Air Force Base, Taylor County, Texas.
- An Archaeological Curation-Needs Assessment for Headquarters Air Combat Command Volume 2 (1997)
- An Archaeological Curation-Needs Assessment of Military Installations in Selected Western States Volume 1 (2000)
- Archaeological Needs Assessment for Dyess Air Force Base, Taylor County, Texas (2011)
- Cultural Resources in the Proposed Peacekeeper Rail Garrison Facilities, Dyess Air Force Base, Taylor County, Texas (1989)
- Dyess AFB Properties that Will Become Eligible (2011)
- Dyess Air Force Base and Ellsworth Air Force Base Force Structure Change Environmental Assessment (2002)
- Email summary of Dyess AFB collections stored at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory (2004)
- Final Environmental Assessment Implementation of Defense BRAC Commision Recommendations Dyess AFB, Texas (2007)
- Final Environmental Impact Statement, Peacekeeper Rail Garrison Program, Volume I (1989)
- Final Environmental Impact Statement, Peacekeeper Rail Garrison Program, Volume II (1989)
- Final Report Cultural Resources Survey of Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene, Taylor County, Texas (1995)
- Impact of Current and Future Limitations on Training Quality and Access (2005)
- Memorandum of Understanding, Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory and Dyess AFB (2004)
- TARL Letter of Collection Condition 6-23-2004, Dyess AFB (2004)
This year we begin the transition that will take Digital Antiquity and tDAR from a grant-supported financial model to user-supported, not for profit entity. Beginning this week all uploads to tDAR carry a modest, one-time fee to ensure the long-term preservation of records archived in the repository.
||Cost per File
* All files come with 10 MB of space
Our price structure is based on a sliding scale starting at $50 for 1 file of up to 10 MB. Storage space is not allocated per file, but “pooled” among all your files. Additional space can be purchased as needed for large files (like large data sets, images, or 3D scans) by contacting our office. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express via our secure online forms. For purchase orders please contact our office to set up an online billing account. Detailed information on pricing, along with examples and a simple calculator can be found on our website at http://www.tdar.org/about/pricing.
If you have already contributed files to tDAR, know that all of the records you have created and files you have uploaded will remain in tDAR as before. You may continue to access the records, download files, and edit the metadata. Browsing, searching, and downloading content from the wealth of archaeological information archived in tDAR will remain a free service.
We thank you for your support of tDAR and look forward to continuing to serve you in preserving and providing access to archaeological information long into the future.
If you have any questions, we’re happy to talk with you about the changes. Call or email (480) 965-1369; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Antiquity is pleased to announce the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (PennMuseum) collection in tDAR. Digital curators created metadata and uploaded all of the digital supplementary material from 18 books published by the Penn Museum.
These incredible materials include rich data sets, images, and reports, all available for download by registered tDAR users. tDAR’s content is indexed by major search engines, and exposes the Penn Museum’s published digital content to searchers who may otherwise be unaware of these books and their associated digital media.
The books themselves are available for purchase at the University of Pennsylvania Press (Penn Press) website at http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/series/UPM.html. The books focus on scholarship from around the world including:
Asia & the Pacific
Regular updates to the tDAR software comprise an integral part of Digital Antiquity’s commitment to digital archaeological data preservation. The “in situ” release of tDAR (Winter 2012) includes the following primary components:
New End-User Interface & Discovery Tools
- We worked with the team at Fervor Creative to completely redesign the end-user interface. We hope you find it easier to use.
- We've added a "Grid" view and Map view to search results, projects, and collections to allow you to view or organize your materials more visually
- You can now search for people and institutions
- We've added new icons for each of the tDAR resource types
- We've added (this) blog to the tDAR homepage
- We've added new fields to search by including filenames
Updated Resource Editing pages
- We've consolidated bookmarks onto the dashboard to make them easier to access
- We've updated the resource edit pages with a cleaner look and feel, better data validation, and error reporting. These include:
- A navigation bar that displays where you are on the page with easy access to jump to different parts or to save
- Document or Dataset creators can be more easily entered
- Enhanced inheritance tools
- A re-designed google maps interface making it easier to edit maps
- An improved bulk upload form with a better template, and pre-validation of the template before starting the bulk upload
- A new Editing permission that allows users to edit resource metadata only without the ability to add or modify files
- A redesigned data api for adding resources to tDAR
- Enhanced security SSL by requiring user login via SSL
We have wonderful things planned for tDAR in 2013, from an updated look and feel to the tDAR application, to a number of exciting new software features. But, as we start out 2013, it's interesting to take a look at how tDAR has changed and evolved in 2012. 2012 was a big year for tDAR and Digital Antiquity and we're grateful to you for being part of it. 2012 included Digital Antiquity receiving a second grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Center's operation and development by expanding the content of tDAR, enlarging the community of users, and continuing to develop and enhance tDAR's software. We received an important endorsement from the American Anthropological Association. We were also awarded a CLIR fellowship to fund a postdoctoral candidate in association with ASU Libraries.
The tDAR software underwent two major updates this year: Grid and Harris. Combined, these updates significantly enhanced the search and discovery functionality for tDAR, and have improved the interface for data integration and data entry. The repository also underwent considerable growth. Our contributors have added over 5,000 new documents, data sets, images, and other resource types for a total number of records now exceeding 373,000.
The repository is now over 180GB is in size, and has literally doubled in size over the course of the last year.
While we do not maintain detailed statistics on users or use to protect user and contributor privacy, we can share some interesting aggregate data. Below are the most frequently viewed and downloaded resources.
Most Frequently Viewed Resources
- Aztec West Ruin: Perishable Artifacts and Pottery from Excavations by the American Museum of Natural History
- Aztec West Ruin: Composite Wall Elevations from Pre-Backfilling Architectural Photo-Documentation
- Prehistoric Irrigation in Arizona: Symposium 1988
- Spitalfields Project
- The Archaeological Survey of Cape Cod National Seashore
- Phoenix Basin Archaeology: Intersections, Pathways Through Time
- The Archaeology of Highland Chiriqui, Panama
- The Archaeology of African Burial Ground National Monument, New York
- Jordan's Journey (44PG302)
- Cultural Resources Survey of a Proposed Well-Pad (IPB LWN 10) in Kisatchie National Forest (Catahoula Distict), Winn Parish, Louisiana
Most Popular Downloads
- Archaeology of the Pueblo Grande Platform and Surrounding Features Volume 2 Features in the Central Precinct of the Pueblo Grande Community
- A Century of Archeological Research at Mesa Verde National Park
- 1947-1948 CDF Aerial Photos Master Index Map
- Survey and Excavations in Joshua Tree National Monument: Report of the 1985 Joshua Tree Road Improvements Project
- Archeological Investigations at Joshua Tree National Park, California
- Archaeological Excavations at Jordan's Point: Sites 44PG151, 44PG300, 44PG302, 44PG303, 44PG315, 44PG333
- Vanishing River Volume 1: Part 1, Scorpion Point Village: Chapters 1 – 4
- Archeological Survey and Site Testing for the Joshua Tree Roads Project, Package 291, Joshua Tree National Park, California
- The Fort Mountain Archaeological Project, Volume 1: Archaeological Investigations at Five Prehistoric Sites Near the Base of Fort Mountain in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
- An Ahupua'a Study: The 1971 Archaeological Work at Kaloko Ahupua'a North Kona, Hawai'i: Archaeology at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
These are the most popular people, places, sites, and other keyword data used to describe tDAR records in the last year.
- Ancestral Puebloan
- Data Recovery / Excavation
- Archaeological Overview
- Heritage Management
- Systematic Survey
- Site Evaluation / Testing
- Architectural Documentation
- Reconnaissance / Survey
- Collections Research
- Site Stabilization
- Methodology, Theory, or Synthesis
- Kuril Islands
- Rio Grande River
- Palomas Drainage
- Southwest New Mexico
- Eastern Mimbres
- Animas Drainage
- Seco Drainage
- Central Arizona
- Southern California
- Chipped Stone
- Ground Stone
- Building Materials
- Dating Sample
Site Name Keywords
- Vodopadnaya 2
- AZ U:15:61 (ASM)
- Ainu Bay 1/2
- AZ U:15:59 (ASM)
- Flying Fish – LA 37767
- AZ U:10:6 (ASM)
Site Type Keywords
- Domestic Structure or Architectural Complex
- Domestic Structures
- Archaeological Feature
- Artifact Scatter
- Funerary and Burial Structures or Features
- Non-Domestic Structures
- Resource Extraction/Production/Transportation Structure or Features
- Hamlet / village
- Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, NM
- Aztec West Ruin
- Macrofloral Analysis
- Perishable Artifacts
- Pollen Analysis
- Masonry Roomblock
- Masonry Architecture
- Masonry Pueblos
- Architecture Analysis
- Architectural Assessment
People or Institutions Referenced within tDAR Records
- Kathryn Puseman
- Linda Scott Cummings
- R.A. Varney
- Gary Brown
- Lori Reed
- Laurie Webster
- Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec, NM
- Anne Grulich
- Chad Yost
- Joel Gamache
Add your files to tDAR today, and look for them on our most popular list of 2013. We wish you a prosperous and healthful new year!
You’ve probably been warned by popular media that tomorrow brings the “Maya Apocalypse,” a prophesied end-of-days. Indeed, the 21st
of December, 2012, marks the end of an important cycle in the Maya Long Count Calendar—but there is no evidence suggesting pre-Hispanic Maya predicted any doom-and-gloom to befall us on this day. In fact, there is only one known text that makes mention of this date! We know the Maya world was ordered by their many intricate calendar systems, of which the long count calendar was just one. tDAR
holds a large number of interesting documents and projects providing in-depth coverage on numerous aspects of Maya life.
Do you have archaeological information you’d like to contribute to tDAR? Now is a great time as we will continue to offer free uploads to tDAR through the end of the year. Once in tDAR your files are preserved for the long term so users today and well into the future can access and make use of them. At Digital Antiquity
we regularly and systematically check the files in the tDAR repository to ensure that no deterioration has occurred. If file deterioration is detected, take steps to remedy it. We periodically migrate and/or refresh the digital files to provide for their long-term accessibility and preservation. Your files are maintained in open and preferable formats, and associated with rich descriptive metadata that make them meaningful. What are you waiting for?