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.  

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!

We are back in Tempe after a whirlwind week in San Francisco for the annual Society for American Archaeology meetings.  It was a pleasure to meet so many tDAR users and contributors (current and future) face-to-face!  If you were a presenter at this year’s meetings we hope you will take advantage of the SAA 2015 tDAR Abstract Project.  We’ve collaborated with SAA to make it possible for all presenters to add a copy of their paper, presentation, poster or other supplementary data (up to 3 files/30 mb) to their abstract in tDAR.  You can also edit the metadata for your record by adding more information.  Here are some instructions for getting started:

Find your Abstract

Enter your last name, or the title of your SAA Poster or Paper
  • Register for tDAR.
  • Contact us at via email at SAA2015@tdar.org or by phone at (480) 965-1593 and let us know your name, presentation title and how many files you plan to upload (up to 3/30MB).  
  • We will give you access to the abstract record(s) and email you a voucher to cover the cost of your upload.
  • Log-in to tDAR  
  • Head over to tDAR’s pricing page (core.tdar.org/cart/add)
  • Enter your voucher number in the “Redeem Code” field
  • Click “Next: Review & Choose Payment Method.” Your credit will be added to your account and you can begin uploading files! 
  • Navigate to your abstract record, either by locating it from among your resources under the “browse resources ” section of your dashboard (accessed by clicking “dashboard” along the top menu), or by searching for it on the search page.
  • From your abstract page, select “edit” from the top menu.  You may now add or change any of the metadata or keywords as well as attach a file.

In 2011 the Center for Digital Antiquity used information about archaeological reports found in the National Archaeological Database (NADB) to creates over 350,000 tDAR citation records. These new tDAR records improved this information with enhanced metadata and a display of geographic information that enable for easier discovery and access. In tDAR these records can be edited and improved; for example, if a digital file of the report described in the citation record is available, it can be uploaded and added to tDAR, thereby greatly enhancing accessibility to the information.

Recently David Hughes discovered the tDAR record for a report he co-authored in 1987: The Courson Archeological Projects, 1985 and 1986: Final 1985  and Preliminary 1986. The report documents the results of fieldwork done at the sites Courson A (41OC26) and Courson B (41OC27) as well as the almost pristine Kit Courson site (41OC43), and it also covers the history of archaeological work done at an area known as the ‘Buried City’. Anyone interested in the history of  archaeological practice during the early twentieth century–and who isn’t?– will find this section very engaging, as this introduction indicates (Hughes & Hughes-Jones 1987, pp. 7):

Many interesting human details about archeological investigations are rarely published. The stories exist in field notes, correspondence, anecdotes and rumors about the personal and professional relationships of those involved, the behavior of the crew, the weather, the attitudes of the local landowners, and vehicle breakdowns and other nuisances of field work. Particularly for the Moorehead expeditions, there is more to the history of archeological investigations at the Buried City than appears in published reports. Part of the story lies in the methods of archeology some 60-80 years ago, and part lies in the relationship of two strong-willed scholars of different backgrounds and, apparently, different values. The untold story explains a significant loss of data that occurred even before the passage of time between Moorehead’s last expedition in 1920 and the current project in 1985. This story is so important to the history of archeology on the Courson Ranch that we present it in some detail here. 

Hughes contacted Digital Antiquity and offered to scan a copy he had of the report, which he then sent to us. We were able add the digital copy to the existing tDAR record and add additional metadata. This means that this once hard to access record of archaeological practice  is now easily find-able and accessible thanks to NADB, tDAR, and Hughes.

We’d like to encourage other archaeologists and tDAR users to please get in touch if they have access to a copy of one of the  citation-only records already in tDAR.  A digital curator can work with you to add the file to the repository at no cost.  Do you or your organization have multiple reports or a legacy of archaeological work that you want to see preserved? Please get in touch to learn about the services that Digital Antiquity can provide so you can turn your archaeological materials into a long lasting legacy.

What are data papers?  Data papers are a new type of publication that combine a narrative short paper and a data set (such as lithic artifact attributes, chemical/physical components of a set of pottery sherds, or a faunal data).  Like more standard journal publications, data papers can be peer reviewed.  The short text describes the data set, its contents, and methods for collection as well as guidelines its use and potential for re-use. 

Publishing data sets is a new way to publicize and share your work that is still novel in the sciences. Now there are two archaeological journals leading the way: Internet Archaeology and the Journal of Open Archaeology Data (JOAD). Both journals are peer-reviewed and publish data papers so that they are openly accessible online.  Importantly, both journals list tDAR as a trusted repositories where authors can submit their data sets to ensure their long-term accessibility and preservation.

The move towards publishing data sets is an important for archaeological development. Archaeological projects typically do not move digital data into repositories where they are accessible and securely stored. Additionally, few institutions provide proper digital curation, such as archaeology specific metadata, which assures long term preservation for future uses. tDAR couples domain specific knowledge with solid digital preservation practice to provide a place for archaeologists to store and share their research, including datasets.

For more information on submitting a data paper to Internet Archaeology, visit their information page. For an example of a data paper in Internet Archaeology, have a look at Wynee-Jones and Fleisher’s paper Ceramics and Society: Early Tana Tradition and the Swahili Coast.

For more information on submitting a data paper to JOAD, visit their submission page.  (The page also includes a great graphic representation of the publishing process). For an example of the data papers published in JOAD, you may want to have a look at Andrew Pearson’s Dataset to accompany the excavation report for a ‘liberated African’ graveyard in Rupert’s Valley, St Helena, South Atlantic.

From ASU News, 7/16/2013

Mimbres pottery is one of the most treasured prehistoric ceramic traditions of North America. Named for the valley in southwestern New Mexico where its creators flourished around a thousand years ago, the striking black-on-white vessels are highly prized on the art market.

The bowls, which usually bear human or animal figures, are spread over the world in various museums and private collections, making it impossible for researchers – or simply interested individuals – to easily access the bulk of this work.

Until now.

Earlier this year, the Mimbres Pottery Images Digital Database (MimPIDD) debuted as part of the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR).

Read more at https://asunews.asu.edu/20130716_mimpidd.

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 PracticeCaring 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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. 



Item Cost per File
1-9 Files $50
10-49 Files $40
50-99 Files $30
100-499 Files $25
500-999 Files $20
1,000-4,999 Files $15
5,000-9,999 Files $5

* 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; comments@digitalantiquity.org.


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 www.tdar.org, 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.