Congratulations to our colleagues Tim Kohler (Washington State University), a member of the Center for Digital Antiquity Board of Directors and Mike Smith (School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University) for recent attention to the results of their research program on the roots of inequality published in Nature.

Figure 3 from “Greater post-Neolithic wealth disparities in Eurasia than in North America and Mesoamerica,’’ by TA Kohler et al. Nature 551:619-622 (30 November 2017)
a, Coefficients by absolute date of sample (calibrated BC/AD 14C, tree-ring date or calendar date); n = 62; !Kung San was excluded. b, Coefficients by Δyears (date of sample − date of the local appearance of domesticated plants); n = 63. S Mesopotamia Early Dyn, Southern Mesopotamia Early Dynastic; CMV PII, Central Mesa Verde region Pueblo II.


Organized by Kohler and Smith, the research involves work by many scholars, e.g., there are 18 co-authors of the recent Nature article.  A symposium at the 2016 SAA Annual Meeting, “Inequality from the Bottom Up: Measuring and Explaining Household Inequality in Antiquity,” involved a similar number of presenters.    A book, Ten Thousand Years of Inequality: The Archaeology of Wealth Differences is being prepared for publication by the University of Arizona Press.

Data from the wealth inequalities research project are being deposited in tDAR (the Digital Archaeological Record) for easy and broad accessibility and use. These data also supplement chapters in the forthcoming book.

The research results describe and interpret the long development of wealth inequality from ancient to historic to modern times in different parts of the world.  This topic, of course, is of wide interest and concern at present in many parts of the world, not least the United States and China.  The research results have been discussed in Science, for which Kohler and Smith were interviewed.  The research results were featured in a televised segment by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

Beginning in 2004, archeologists working on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation conducted several phases of investigations at the Kitchen Branch site (41CP220) in northeast Texas’ Camp County. The Kitchen Branch site, situated on the northern bank of the Kitchen Branch of Prairie Creek (the site’s namesake), was located within the footprint of a proposed bridge slated for construction during expansion of FM 557 and would (within the expansion area) be destroyed as a result. For compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended) and the Antiquities Code of Texas , those impacted areas were investigated and excavated in detail prior to bridge construction. While the site contained evidence of occupations that ranged from among the earliest humans in the New World through the 20th century, researchers focused on the remnants of a single-family home site attributed to the later phases of Caddo native history, the peoples who dominated the region of northeast Texas, eastern Oklahoma, northwest Louisiana, and western Arkansas from A.D. 800 through the age of European contact.

Extensive investigations beginning in 2004 revealed some 236 prehistoric features and collected roughly 20,000 artifacts, shedding light on a lesser-known period of Caddo culture in this particular area.  The results have been interpreted for the public by Texas Department of Transportation and AmaTerra Environmental, Inc., and are available in tDAR now!  We encourage you to visit tDAR and download a digital copy of this report, designed to be approachable and interesting to a lay audience.

Peering Through the Sands of Time, The Archeology of the Caddo at the Kitchen Branch Site (41CP220) in East Texas. Mason D. Miller, Timothy K. Perttula, Rachel J. Feit. 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78701: Texas Department of Transportation Environmental Affairs Division Archeological Studies Program. 2014 ( tDAR id: 407094) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8P55QG4

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.  

In partnership with the United States Air Force (USAF), the Shaw Air Force Base (Shaw AFB) in South Carolina and Avon Park Air Force Range (Avon Park AFR) in Florida archaeology archives were recently added to tDAR.  Each archive contains documents, images, and other data from archaeological and other cultural resource research conducted at both bases.  The creation of these digital archives is part of a pilot program to investigate the feasibility of the USAF using tDAR as a long-term repository for archaeological information important for the management and protection of important archaeological resources on USAF bases.  The records in the Shaw Air Force Base Archaeology Archive are organized as a collection within tDAR which includes 512 files.  The Avon Park Air Force Range Archaeology Archive also is organized as a tDAR collection and includes 219 files.

Most of the information in the archives is generally available.  However, due to confidential information, mainly specific site locations, included in some of the files, the collections’ material are accessible according to three  categories depending on their content.  Confidential records contain sensitive USAF information and are available only to the USAF officials responsible for the archaeological resources or others authorized by these Air Force officials; confidential with redacted copy available are files from which USAF sensitive information has been removed and a redacted version is available to registered tDAR users; and, available to all users are files  that contain no confidential information and are available to all registered tDAR users.

The USAF digital archives project demonstrates how staff at the Center for Digital Antiquity can work under contract or cooperative agreement with public agencies to provide digital curation services directly to agencies.  Some of these services include: organization of materials, drafting of metadata, examining files for potentially confidential information, and uploading files to tDAR. The USAF project to date has been funded by a contract administered through the CRM consulting firm GMI (now part of Versar).  USAF staff worked closely with experts at Digital Antiquity to review draft metadata and redacted versions of files before final versions were made public in tDAR.  At Digital Antiquity we look forward to working with the USAF on more digital archives for facilities and with other agencies on similar projects.

Have questions about the USAF pilot, or a similar project you would like to start, contact us.

Several resource documentation and survey reports from the Deer Valley Rock Art Center (DVRAC), an educational, interpretive, and research center at Arizona State University (ASU), are now available on tDAR.  These documents are organized in the Deer Valley Rock Art Center Digital Collection within the repository.

The reports describe the rock art now interpreted at the Center and the archaeological investigations that led to DVRAC’s founding in 1994.  Paper copies of the reports and other archives, as well as its research library, are now housed at Center for Archaeology and Society also at ASU. In an effort to both preserve these documents and make them more accessible to rock art researchers, a portion of these records are now available on tDAR.

Currently, the majority of the DVRAC tDAR collection consists of survey and excavation reports related to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Adobe Dam Project and New River Dam Project. These include a total of four technical reports on the Adobe Dam site, the Hedgpeth Hills site, and the New River Archaeological Survey, as well as two non-technical reports on the Adobe Dam site and the Hedgpeth Hills site.

The Hedgpeth Hills Rock Art Recording and Investigations project contains documents relating to the rock art recording and investigations that were conducted by J. Simon Bruder during the early 1980s. The documents associated with this project include a synthesis report of fieldwork, field maps of the Hedgpeth Hills, and locality record sheets for each rock art panel.

If you are interested in contributing information about rock art in your research area to tDAR please visit


David Plaza was awarded a 2012 Center for Digital Antiquity grant for his project entitled The Anasazi Origins Project Digital Archives Initiative (AOPDAI), designed to digitize and ingest into tDAR the associated records stored at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU). The AOPDAI’s mission is to aggregate and digitize all data associated with the Anasazi Origins Project (AOP), and archive the data on platforms that are capable of easily sharing the results among researchers, professionals, and the interested public.

The AOP was led by Cynthia Irwin-Williams to investigate the antecedents of the Ancestral Puebloans (Oshara Tradition) in the Arroyo Cuervo Region of northwestern New Mexico. Irwin-Williams’ project was fundamental to illuminating the poorly understood Archaic period in the northern Southwest, and resulted in an enormous collection of artifacts, ecofacts, and contextual documents from its field campaigns.

tDAR aids in improving and disseminating this important collection by providing additional long term preservation services to aid in ensuring access to the AOP records in perpetuity.  Furthermore, tDAR’s data integration tools allow information from various components of ENMU’s AOP data sets to be easily synthesized for new analyses.

The AOPDAI uploads to tDAR is an effort to collect and migrate digitized data of the AOP from various parts of the country into a central location. At present, the AOPDAI on tDAR draws from several components of the AOP collection held at ENMU: publications, field maps, photographs, artifact spreadsheets, site records, and inventory sheets for notes. In addition, there is a data set of the site records from the AOP field campaigns organized using the laboratory site record format that can be used in spreadsheets or a Microsoft Access database. Plaza will continuously update this data set for the next two years as more lab work is completed and as additional records and artifacts are located and digitized. Additional planned uploads will include artifact catalogues describing the AOP collections housed at Eastern New Mexico University. Near future endeavors will consist of virtually reunifying components of this collection that exist at the National Anthropological Archives with those at ENMU and tDAR.

Scholars or curators with resources relevant to the Anasazi Origins Project and interested in contributing these resources to The Anasazi Origins Project Digital Archive Initiative should contact David Plaza at

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 to view the georeferenced Tikal maps!

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.  



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 The books focus on scholarship from around the world including:


Asia & the Pacific


Middle East/Eurasia