We had a busy year in 2015, tDAR continued to grow with significant contributions from the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization , US Air Force, and US Army Corps of Engineers. tDAR had two major software releases, Munsell and Neolithic which completely redesigned the Data Integration interface to make it easier to use, expanded access to usage statistics, and updated the visualization and mapping interfaces for tDAR.

We are continuing our work, begun in earnest last fall with the Corps of Engineers and the US Air Force on digital archaeological archives for their bases and other facilities. We are also still working with the Phoenix Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation and Midwest Archeological Center of the National Park Service on their rich archives of archaeological material.

As part of our continuing agreements with Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and Society for American Archaeology (SAA), we ran workshops highlighting best practices in digital curation at the annual meetings for SAA and AIA in San Francisco and New Orleans respectively. We also continue to provide student members with a number of no cost uploads for contributing their data to tDAR as part of our agreement with SAA.

Content added to tDAR in 2015



Usage Statistics

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.

Resources (most viewed)

Resources (most Downloaded)

We recently made a change to the way we share new resources in tDAR.  In the past, our Twitter account announced each new resource as it was made live.  Moving forward, we’ll do a weekly round-up and let you know what new resources were added to tDAR during the previous week, with a link to a collection in tDAR where the enthusiastic user can see them all!  Our weekly post will attempt to highlight the breadth of new materials by featuring a few of the newest resources.  

This week’s post will play catch up and cover all the resources made active in tDAR over the last month. There is a wonderful variety represented in this group!  For example, there is a new set of photographs of Norse artifacts from Skútustaðir, including several pipe stem fragments and a die.  The Mimbres Pottery Images Digital Database also added more images last month, such as this Style III bowl.  The Eastern Faunal Working Group made available several new coding sheets and ontologies from the Modoc Rock Shelter Site 1980 excavations as part of their efforts to bring together regional faunal data for synthetic analysis.  Coding sheets and ontologies are used alongside data sets to synthesize raw data using tDAR’s data integration tool. There are also a few new resources from Quantico Marine Corps Base.  If you are interested in the history and use of the base you might find this resource a worthwhile read.  Finally, a paper and data related to gender equity in archaeology are now available!  

To see all the resources made active in tDAR for the period 11/02 to 12/11 click here.  

Digital Antiquity is pleased to announce the 14th major release of tDAR named Neolithic. This release focuses on three major areas of the repository: (1) visualization, (2) maps and spatial data, and (3) modularization and infrastructure work. In addition, the development team has improved performance and reliability as well as making a series of smaller enhancements.


We have redesigned many of tDAR’s graphs and visualizations to be more interactive and appealing. Of note, in the world map which can now be explored and shows break-downs of the different resource-types by country. The graphs on the “explore” page have also be enhanced. Finally, the ontology browser has been updated to better display larger ontologies.

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We’ve improved the underlying mapping libraries used in tDAR. These enhancements allow us to cluster mapped search results, improving the interface. We’ve also updated the maps on the resource pages and improved the creation and management of bounding boxes on the resource edit screen.
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The Center for Digital Antiquity has a new Digital Curator position open and we invite qualified applicants to apply. The position of Digital Curator plays a vital role within our organization. Not limited to one specific function, we seek a well-organized, knowledgeable person who will provide services to clients, including drafting administrative and substantive metadata for digital files to be deposited in tDAR, recommending and carrying out redaction for confidential or sensitive data in files, assisting in the planning of digital collections within tDAR for clients, and other services. 

This person will also assist in the Center for Digital Antiquity’s development, improvement and maintenance of tDAR digital repository. This will involve work on project documentation, cleaning up existing data and entering new data/documents. Digital curators are also involved in creating instructional text and web pages to improve information for tDAR users.

To learn more and to apply, visit the Arizona State University employment website. Applications will be accepted through September 15, 2015.

Congratulations to our colleague, Dr. Paul Green, Cultural Resources Specialist for the East Region Support Team (RST), part of the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center.  The Secretary of Defense has recognized Paul’s excellent professional work with the 2015 Department of Defense Cultural Resources Management award.

At Digital Antiquity we are particularly happy to learn of this award and that one of the many major accomplishments for which his service is recognized involved a program that we have had a hand in.  Paul had a key role in establishing

“…the first DoD digital cultural resources data archives for permanent curation. Maintained by the non-profit Digital Antiquity, the solution outsources the complex effort of keeping with technological changes in media storage while ensuring DoD cultural data is permanently maintained and easily accessible to authorized users and, as appropriate, the public. (from the announcement of Dr. Green’s award, Cultural Resource Update, the Department of Defense Cultural Resource Program Newsletter [Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2015; p. 5]).

Together with Dr. Jim Wilde, Archaeologist and Cultural Resource Management Subject Matter Expert at the US Air Force Environmental Center, Paul is overseeing the continuing growth of important documents, data, images, and other digital data in tDAR (the Digital Archaeological Record).

More information about the US Air Force digital archive in tDAR is available at: https://www.tdar.org/news/2014/03/shaw-afb-and-avon-park-afr-archaeology-archives-now-in-tdar/; and https://www.tdar.org/news/2013/02/digital-antiquity-announces-the-dyess-air-force-base-archaeology/.

About the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards program (from the Cultural Resource Update Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 4-5): Since 1962, the Department of Defense Environmental awards have honored individuals, teams, and installations for their outstanding achievements and innovative work protecting the environment while sustaining mission readiness.  A diverse panel of judges with relevant expertise representing federal and state agencies, academia, and the private sector evaluated all nominees to select one winner for each of the nine categories that cover six subject areas: natural resources conservation; environmental quality; sustainability; environmental restoration; cultural resources management; and environmental excellence in weapon system acquisition.

The Cultural Resources Management award recognizes individuals and teams making significant and lasting contributions to DoD CRM. This award acknowledges efforts to promote cultural resources stewardship in DoD by highlighting outstanding management activities and showcasing DoD’s extensive cultural resources, including archaeological sites, the historic built environment, and cultural landscapes. Desired initiatives include partnering with external stakeholders such as Native Americans, SHPOs, and local communities, and working with internal stakeholders in the areas of master planning, public works, and range management.  More information on the Awards can be found at: http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY14SECDEF.cfm.

We’ve got great news! We have reduced prices significantly. As of 14 July 2015, it costs only $10 to upload a single file (up to 10MB) to tDAR. This is a significant decrease compared to the former price of $50 per file.

In recent months, we undertook a careful evaluation of operating costs and reviewed the consistent stream of new tDAR clients and DIY digital preservation customers.  Based on these factors, The Center for Digital Antiquity’s Board of Directors and Arizona State University’s financial administrators approved a significant reduction in price to upload digital content to tDAR for long term access, discoverability, and preservation.

This change will be of interest particularly for contributors who upload small quantities of digital files and create the metadata records on their own. Larger clients also will benefit because the low rate of $5/file now applies for purchases of 100 or more files. Check out the full new price list below or visit our new pricing page.

Digital Preservation


1-99 files*


100+ files


Curation Services


File Checking, Metadata Drafting, Basic Quality Control, etc.


Consulting, Planning, Programming, Management, etc.


*Each tDAR file comes with 10MB of space.  To upload digital resources larger than 10MB simply purchase additional tDAR files.


You can easily purchase exactly the number of files and storage space that you need using our price calculator and your credit card just like before.  Of course, our digital curators, project managers, and technical staff are always happy to work with you on a customized project for an hourly rate as well. 
Digital preservation fees fund the long-term care of files in tDAR; access to public data and protection of confidential information; data security; customer service; and, advocacy and professional training for proper digital curation of all archaeological materials.

tDAR is a domain repository in which data and information about and from archaeological resources, investigations, and related topics. In tDAR, data and information are curated, discoverable, accessible, and preserved for future use.  tDAR is developed and maintained by the Center for Digital Antiquity, a not-for-profit center at Arizona State University.
Our promise to broaden the access to archaeological data and dedication ensuring preservation will continue to thrive with your support!


This week I visited the Preservation Archaeology Field School in southwestern New Mexico organized by Archaeology Southwest. While there, I led a student training session on managing and preserving digital data. The students got to use tDAR to preserve datasets and maps from work done at the 3-UP Site in 2008 and 2009. These will complement the excavation report when it is completed later this year.

Good digital curation practices need to be part of every archaeologist’s workflow and introducing your students to this now can help build good habits for life.  Archaeology Southwest’s Preservation Archaeology Field School students learned about the importance of metadata, keeping good records and managing digital archaeological data first hand. I had the opportunity to be out in the field again (for a little bit),  work with a great group of students and welcoming staff and try my hand at working on an experimental adobe structure. Most importantly these digital resources will be preserved and accessible!  

Digital Antiquity is always looking for opportunities to work with students and early researchers–get in touch if you’d like one of our digital curators to come out to your field school or do a web-based workshop!

A special thanks to Karen Schollmeyer  for her support in organizing the training session.

[Photo Credits: Jodi Reeves Flores (above), Karen Schollmeyer (first, below) and Allen Denoyer (second, below)]


Recently over 200 reports of archaeological investigations in South Carolina were added to tDAR by the Office of the State Archaeologist, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA).  Dr. Jonathan Leader and several of his students created a tDAR collection that is organized to hold all the archaeological grey literature and related data for South Carolina from the last 50 years. Within the statewide collection, reports are organized by county with the majority of reports so far included from Aiken, Charleston, and Beaufort counties, but other reports from around the state also can be found.  The plan is to build content using this geographic framework.

Leader and his team have uploaded both complete reports, for which access can be requested by contacting his office, and redacted versions of the reports.  The latter are available through tDAR to registered tDAR users.

This project, enabling easier access to archaeological information, is expected to alleviate a large number of time-consuming requests.  The intent is to provide a major research tool for people conducing archaeological work and historical research in South Carolina and the adjacent states. Numerous groups and teams of people will benefit from these available records including, researchers, land stewards, county planners, agency staff (state, local federal), non-profits, tribal archaeology and preservation organizations, educators, and interested members of the public.

The Center for Digital Antiquity is pleased to have worked with the  Office of the State Archaeologist on this use of tDAR to provide a means of managing South Carolina’s archaeological data. We look forward to collaborating on additional future projects with SCIAA and other State Archaeologist offices and SHPOs.

Selected reports from New York State are now available in tDAR, thanks to the New York State Museum and the Public Archaeology Facility at Binghamton University. The collection currently contains over 30 reports from 16 different counties, with plans to add more resources in the future. The reports cover CRM work done over the past three decades and will be a valuable resource for those interested in prehistoric and historic archaeology of New York State. Browse the New York State Museum and the Public Archaeology Facility, Binghamton University Archaeological Collection today!

In collaboration with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Digital Antiquity has begun a partnership to include tDAR’s Arctic data into the NSIDC’s Arctic Data Explorer. The Arctic Data Explorer is a web application that searches for research data across a number of repositories. Including data from tDAR furthers Digital Antiquity’s mission of enabling discovery and use of digital archaeological data. The new functionality in Arctic Data Explorer ensures that when scientists search for Arctic data, archaeological data will be discovered alongside interdisciplinary data from NOAA, NASA, USGS and other repositories. Try a search now and let the Arctic Data Explorer team know what you think (contact Digital Antiquity at comments@tdar.org or NSIDC at support@aoncadis.org).