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?

The opportunity to upload resources for free to tDAR will end on December 31st.  Can you catch up with some of our super-users?  Barbara Stark has uploaded nearly 4,000 archaeological records related to her research in Veracruz, Mexico.  PaleoResearch Institute has contributed over 2,000 paleoenvironmental and archaeobotanic reports.  More than 2,000 files chronicling Dean Snow’s investigations of Paleoindian to Historic archaeology of New York have been made available in tDAR.  William Engelbrecht’s research on Iroquoian Ceramics and the Eaton Site includes over 1,000 reports, journal articles, datasets, photos, and maps.  Check out the extensive archaeological data shared by these and hundreds of other archaeologists in tDAR, then add your own! Once in tDAR, your archaeological files will be preserved and made accessible in perpetuity.  At tDAR 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.
  • Periodically migrate and/or refresh the digital files to provide for their long-term accessibility and preservation.
  • Plan for obsolete technology.
  • Maintain files in open and preferable formats, and accommodate new industry standards for archaeological information.
  • Store rich descriptive metadata with objects.


To explore tDAR and upload your files, visit and register as a tDAR user.  Registration is a simple procedure that requires that you create a password for log-ins and that you agree not to misuse any of the information you obtain from records and documents/data in tDAR.

Once you are registered you can create a tDAR record and upload your digital archaeological files along with meaningful metadata by filling in a user-friendly tDAR record form.  This is a great opportunity to digitally archive your personal archaeological files for FREE!  Of course, searching tDAR’s extensive archives is always free. We encourage you to contact us at with any questions or comments.

Are you looking for a chance to combine your interests in archaeology and digital data?  Then why not apply for a two year position at Arizona State University as a Postdoctoral Fellow with tDAR, the Digital Archaeological Record.  tDAR is an international repository containing archaeological reports, images, data sets, and other related digital files. It is part international repository, part research tool, and part public access tool.

As a Postdoc you will be based at Arizona State University’s Center for Digital Antiquity, in Hayden Library on the Tempe campus.  You will work on a research team with archaeologists, programmers, librarians and data managers exploring new ways to help researchers more effectively create, preserve, integrate and analyze knowledge of the human past.  To learn more about the position and how to apply visit Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. in Anthropology with a specialization in archaeology, or a Ph.D. in Archaeology or a closely related field, at the time of appointment.

This Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for the Sciences and Social Sciences is made possible by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR/DLF).

We are pleased to announce that The Center for Digital Antiquity and the ASU Libraries have been awarded a two-year Council for Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for the Sciences and Social Sciences.  This competitive award provides funding for a postdoctoral scholar with a Ph.D. in Anthropology, Archaeology or a closely related field.  The fellow will serve as a digital data curator working with archaeological data collections deposited in the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), a digital repository for archaeological information.  Although not a librarian, the fellow will work closely with ASU Libraries staff on new initiatives in research data management and repository development.  Additionally, the fellow will have the opportunity to develop, execute, and publish research related to tDAR that contributes substantially to scholarship and to Digital Antiquity’s objectives.

This is an exciting opportunity for Digital Antiquity and the ASU Libraries to forge and strengthen connections between the libraries’ expertise in data management services and the data management needs of new research faculty. Both the ASU Libraries and Digital Antiquity will benefit from the fellow’s field-specific expertise to gain insight into new uses for the digital collections in tDAR and the ASU Digital Repository.

The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that collaborates with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning to develop strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning.   Established in 2004, the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports postdoctoral fellowships in Academic Libraries, Data Curation for the Sciences and Social Sciences, and Data Curation for Medieval Studies.  Since then, the program has supported over 60 fellows in institutions throughout the United States and Canada.

Recruitment for the ASU CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship is on-going, with the anticipated start date of July, 2013.  For the full job announcement and information on how to apply please visit

Hunting for some spooky reading this Halloween?  Check out these tDAR records with mention of witches, ghosts, monsters, and hauntings!

Locating anything in tDAR is easy.  You can explore our content by title, decade or using any of our controlled keywords. Our intelligent search functions allow you tailor your search within tDAR’s extensive archives to find just what you are looking for.  In addition to searching the rich metadata associated with each record, tDAR searches the entire content of uploaded files.  Dig into our archives today and see what you can find!


Digital Antiquity wants to remind you that Saturday, October 20th is National Archaeology Day, an annual event organized by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). Archaeological organizations throughout the US and abroad will sponsor programs designed to engage the public in local archaeology.  Here in Phoenix where our offices are located, the Pueblo Grande Museum will offer free admission all day!  They have a number of exciting events planned, including a special Archaeology for Kids program, site tours, cooking demonstrations, and an opportunity to observe volunteer mudslingers repair the platform mound.

Round out your day by exploring tDAR’s extensive collection of Pueblo Grande material online.  Our archives are always available for research and education about archaeology in your neighborhood or across the globe.

How do you plan to celebrate National Archaeology Day? Visit the AIA’s National Archaeology Day website to locate archaeology events and activities happening near you.  We hope you get out and get dirty!

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) has recommended tDAR as a digital repository for  archaeological data archiving.  In the September 2012 issue of Anthropology News, Robert Hahn, chair of the Grey Literature subcommittee of the Resource Development Committee wrote: 

AAA…encourages archaeologists to deposit data and the related publications that make that data meaningful in the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) Available at, tDAR is an international digital archive and repository that houses data about archaeological investigations, research, resources and scholarship. It has a plan for long-term preservation and ongoing access to digital data.

If you have archaeological data you’d like to upload we encourage you to visit tDAR today!  Becoming a registered tDAR user is easy, and allows you to upload to and download from our extensive collections of archaeological information.  Now is a great time to contribute your archaeological records to tDAR as upload fees are waived for individuals through the end of the year.

Digital Antiquity was founded with two basic goals in mind: (1) provide broad and easy access to archaeological data and documents and (2) ensure the long-term preservation of digital archaeological information for future use.  In July Arizona State University Libraries and Digital Antiquity signed an agreement to ensure that tDAR’s records would remain accessible and be preserved even in the event that Digital Antiquity is unable to continue to support tDAR’s development and maintenance.  This formal Memorandum of Agreement reinforces our commitment to provide a sustainable digital repository dedicated to serving the information access and preservation needs of the archaeological community.


In 1960, at its annual meeting, the Society for American Archaeology authorized the establishment of a new publication series making use of Microcards as the medium of publication.   This move toward a condensed, durable, and accessible medium of publishing archaeological data and reports was viewed as a new approach to preservation technology in 1960.  The University of Wisconsin was chosen to publish the series and a total of 29 archaeological reports were published on as the Archives of Archaeology series on Microcards between 1960 and 1967.  Today, the Archives of Archaeology series has been integrated into tDAR (the Digital Archaeological Record) in keeping with the original publications goals for preservation and access.  These 29 archaeological reports, with site locations ranging from Central America to Alaska, are reproduced digitally and in their full form on tDAR.  Now these once relatively obscure reports are available for access at any time to any archaeologist with access to the internet.

These archaeological reports contain data that has never been published before in a widely circulating format.  They include early investigations into the effects of climate change on prehistoric peoples in Iowa, full survey reports from the 1959-1962 Southwest Archaeological Expedition of the Chicago Natural History Museum in eastern Arizona, and a first look at English-translated Japanese archaeological reports that are foundational in current understandings of pre-ceramic Japanese occupations.  Examine some of the archaeological documents here: