Digital Antiquity Executive Director and Research Professor Frank McManamon organized and chaired a panel of US archaeologists as part of a data science workshop in Belgrade, Serbia, 26-28 August.  The “US-Serbia & West Balkan Data Science Workshop,” was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Serbian Ministry of Science, Education, and Technological Development, the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the University of Belgrade, and the U. S. Embassy. Organized and chaired by Professor Zoran Obradovic, L. H. Carnell Professor of Data Analytics and Professor, Statistical Science Department, Fox School of Business, Temple University and Aleksandra Drecun, President of Intersections, Center for Science and Innovation, Serbia, the workshop combined panels on data science foundations, mathematical research, big data critical infrastructure, bio-medical informatics, and archaeological research. Paired panels from the US and Serbia and the West Balkans addressed data science issues and themes as they are relevant for each of their professions.  

The US archaeology panel members and the subjects of their presentations, included:

Frank McManamon, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Antiquity and Research Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University (Organizer and Chair); 

Ben Marwick, Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department, University Washington, and Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Archaeology, University of Wollongong, Australia,  “Archaeological Science, Archaeology of Science, and Tools for Closing the Gap between Practice and Ideals;” 

Tim Kohler, Regents Professor, Anthropology, Washington State University, “More Data and More Computation but not Necessarily Less Theory: Assessing the Status and Near-Future Directions of Archaeology;”

Carrie Heitman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Fellow in the Center for Digital Research in Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “Evidential Reasoning in Archaeological Science and the Need for Humanistic Approaches to Big Data;” and, 

Adam Rabinowitz, Assistant Director of the Institute of Classical Archaeology and Associate Professor, Department of Classics, The University Texas at Austin, “Grand Challenges, Big Data, Fuzzy Data, and Digital Archaeology: integrating information about the past into the Planet Texas 2050 DataX platform.”

McManamon introducing the US Archaeology panel, Ben Marwick (behind podium), Tim Kohler, Carrie Heitman, Adam Rabinowitz (partially visible to Heitman’s right)

Overall, the workshop explored how the US data science community can cooperate with and benefit from collaborations with partners in Serbia and the West Balkan region. The scope includes fundamental data science methods and high-impact applications related to big data processing, data science applications in critical infrastructures, biomedical informatics, and digital archaeology.

The workshop facilitated closing the gap between data science research in the US and Serbia and the region. US data scientists in various fields mixed with Serbian and Western Balkan researchers from disciplines that until recently had little exposure to data science methods, potentially enabling collaborative breakthroughs in those scientific fields. 

In addition to the formal workshop sessions, the US archaeologists had a number of side meetings with colleagues in the Serbian Institute of Archaeology.  In addition to the exchange of information about how research, theory, and methods and techniques  in the fields represented are being integrated with data science, the workshop had the goal of establishing collaborations between Serbian and West Balkan scientists and US colleagues. There appear to be a number of possible collaborations among the archaeologists.

Serbian and US archaeologists consulting (l. to r.: Miomir  Korać, Director, Institute of Archaeology, Serbia; Carrie Heitman; Frank McManamon; Snezana Golubovic, Research Associate Professor, Institute of Archaeology, Serbia; Ben Marwick. 

An ASU Connection

US Ambassador to Serbia, Kyle R. Scott (BA ASU 1979; Thunderbird School of Global Management, 1980) made remarks during a workshop panel during the first day.  Scott made the important comment, noting that available data these days is not simply “big,” it is “huge.”  He pointed out that in order to make good use of these data, they need to be effectively managed. 

Carol Pierce-McManamon, Frank Pierce-McManamon, and US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle R. Scott (ASU 1979; Thunderbird 1980) at US Embassy reception for Data Science Workshop participants.

McManamon, in his remarks on another panel later in the workshop, picked up on Scott’s comments. He noted that few presentations during the workshop had addressed or even mentioned issues of managing the vast amount of digital data that was utilized in the data analyses that were the focus of many presentations.  Good management of digital data requires that they be broadly and easily discovered, accessed, understandable for reuse, and preserved for future uses. The desire among data users for greater transparency and access is widespread among both scientific and humanities disciplines and with policy makers. This is particularly true for data that have been produced at public expense, e.g., through funding agencies such as EPA, NSF, NEH, NIH, and USGS.  The demand for greater access to sponsored project research data is focused on issues such as what data are saved by such publicly funded or required projects; where and how can such data be discovered and accessed; and, what metadata are curated with these data files that make them usable. The recent research about how data are managed by York, Gutmann, and Berman (“What do we know about the stewardship gap?” Data Science Journal 17:1-17. Doi: describes some of the challenges in this area, which McManamon summarized briefly in his remarks at the workshop.

Workshop Panel:  McManamon, far right.  Chair and other panelists (l. to r).: Nevena Veljkovic, Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Nuclear Sciences “Vinca”,University of Belgrade; Predrag Radivojac, Professor, Computer Science and Statistics, Indiana University; Gregor Stiglic, Vice-Dean, Health Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia; Silvana Blazevska, Archeologist-Curator, National Institute for Management of the Archeological Site of Stobi, Macedonia; Vladimir Bajić, Director of Computational Biosciences Research Center and Professor Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia  

In 2017, Arizona State University’s Center for Digital Antiquity, in partnership with the Amerind Foundation, was awarded a two year National Endowment for the Humanities grant (award #PW-253799-17) to build the Digital Archive of Huhugam Archaeology (DAHA) within tDAR. As part of that effort the DAHA team developed a 16 question survey to assess the relevant information-related needs of some of DAHA’s key user communities: archaeologists and others working in cultural heritage management who are concerned with Huhugam archaeology.  The results are in and just published in the “Reports in Digital Archaeology Publication Series.” Reports in Digital Archaeology is an online publication series devoted to issues regarding research and practice in digital archiving of archaeological materials and archaeologically related data.


The report is described in more detail, along with more information the DAHA project in a recent blogpost.

On Saturday, July 14th, staff of the Center for Digital Antiquity (DA), the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, and the Environmental Research Group/New South Associates (ERG-NSA), along with family members, celebrated the achievements of Arizona State University (ASU) student veterans who have worked as digital curators in the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) Veterans Curation Program (VCP) at ASU. The veterans (Chris Frady, Herminio Meneses, Nicholas Rudolph, Tyler Sutton, and Cole van Roeder) were the first student-veterans to work in the tDAR VCP program. Their success and substantial achievements have encouraged the continuation of including student-veterans in the tDAR VCP this coming year. Also recognized at the ceremony was Katie Toye, an ERG archaeologist who participated in the tDAR VCP program in 2016.

During their time at the Center, the student veterans made huge progress in curating over 1,126 documents, 2,234 images, and 386 datasets which span over 12 USACE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts. Their hard work resulted in large amounts of data from the VCP-rehabilitated collections being made more widely available to the public and, furthermore, making them accessible for education, research, and modern archaeological investigations. Individually, each of the tDAR VCP team made significant contributions to the program. All of the Digital Antiquity staff are grateful for their assistance!

For more information on each of the students honored, short bios can be found below. We wish these students all the best in their future endeavors; we know they will go on to do great things! We are also thankful for the wonderful folks at ASU’s Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement and the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, in particular, Nancy Dallett, Steven Borden, and Michelle Loposky. They assisted us in our search for candidates for the program, publicizing the overall digital curation efforts, and they continue to provide support, not only to the student veterans working on this project, but all of the student veterans at ASU. We will soon be searching for a new group of student veterans for another digital VCP project and encourage all who are interested to apply. Stay tuned for more information!

The Veterans Curation Program (VCP) is a program developed and funded by the Mandatory Center of Expertise (MCX) for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections (CMAC) of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The VCP was created to carry out two important missions: (1) providing veterans with a path from military service to the civilian workforce; and (2) to process and archive physical archaeological collections and related data for which the USACE is responsible in order to preserve them and make them more widely available to the public. Much of the VCP work occurs in three laboratories run by New South Associates where archaeological collections that have languished in storage, some of them for decades, are rehabilitated and made useable. At the labs artifacts, samples, and other materials are cleaned, organized, and recorded.

The rehabilitation of the physical collections creates large amounts of digital data (paper records that are scanned, new digital photos of artifacts, etc.). Copies of these digital data will be kept with the physical collections, of course, but digital data also can be made much more widely available as well. Here is where the Center for Digital Antiquity and the VCP come together. Digital Antiquity, in partnership with VCP and ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center, employs student veterans to digitally curate the USACE archaeological collections by adding them to tDAR, a digital archive for archaeological and cultural heritage data and information. Through the tDAR website, much of the information about the VCP-rehabilitated collections can be discovered, accessed, and used for new research, education, resource protection, public interpretation, and other appropriate uses. By making these data and related information publicly available (with appropriate limits on access to some kinds of information) the USACE is fulfilling its legal obligations under various federal statutes and regulations.

Digital VCP Awards: Award Recipient Bios

Chris Frady
Chris joined the Digital Veterans Curation project in 2016. He is a veteran of the US Air Force and served in active duty between 2006 and 2014 before joining the reserves. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and Washington State and was deployed to Qatar, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Uganda where he worked as an Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Craftsman. He notes his most rewarding experience during his service in Uganda was when he delivered aid to the Central African Republic and assisted in evacuation of individuals from South Sudan. At ASU Chris studied Psychology and received a Bachelor of Arts in 2016. At present he is completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in internet and web development. Chris is the developer and manager of our tracking system, which has evolved from a simple Google spreadsheet to a more robust Microsoft Excel sheet in his time here. His eye for solving workflow problems with technical solutions has been a huge asset to the team. He looks forward to a career in user interface or user experience design. We know he’ll be great!

Herminio Meneses
A California native, Herminio joined the Digital Veterans Curation project in 2016. A veteran of the United States Army, he served as an Army specialist from 2011 to 2014, where he, among other things, conducted field training exercises in map reading and land navigation skills using topographic maps and other specialized tools. These activities fostered in him a strong interest in geography and cartography. Though he had earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Los Angeles prior to his Army service, he came to ASU in 2015 to pursue a degree in Geography with a focus on geographical information systems. As part of his work with Digital Antiquity, Herminio was a careful worker with fantastic attention to detail. He specialized in review and could be counted on to check his colleagues work before it was reviewed by a manager. At present, Herminio is employed by the US National Guard, and has been deployed to the Arizona border. He looks forward to a career where he can put his Geographic Information Systems skills to use.

Nick Rudolph
After serving 12 years (2002-2013) in the Army as a Counterintelligence Special Agent, Nick joined the Digital Antiquity team as part of the first batch of student veterans in the Digital Veterans Curation project. In the Army, Nick was stationed in various locations across the globe, including Germany, Iraq, Hawaii, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, the Horn of Africa, and all over the continental United States. His military career highlights include seeing the Ishtar Gates in Babylon and meeting interesting people from all over the world during his deployments. At ASU he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology in 2015 and is currently working to finish a Forensic Science degree. During his tenure in the Digital Veterans Curation project, Nick enjoyed working on the Stockton Lake and Iraq Mass Graves collections, which are now all active in tDAR. Though we were sad to see him go, Nick accepted a job offer in his desired career early this year. He currently is working at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office, Major Crimes division, as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst. He hopes to use the skills he learned at Digital Antiquity to “continue school, teach, and continue working in Law Enforcement.” He currently uses the organizational and research skills he learned in his work investigating cold cases.

Tyler Sutton
One of the very first students to accept and begin work on the Digital Veterans Curation project, Tyler joined the DA team after having served 4 years in the Air Force as a Supply Journeyman. During this time he was stationed in New Mexico and Qatar, he notes the experience of becoming a Base Honor Guard member and receiving Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command training as particular highlights. As a student at ASU he studied Criminology and Criminal Justice and graduated in 2016. Tyler recalls his favorite project at tDAR VCP as work he completed to curate reports that form the Iraq Mass Graves collection. We appreciated Tyler’s thoroughness and detail-oriented approach to his work. In addition, he was always up for learning new tasks. His assistance on writing tasks in particular, including blog posts about the VCP project and manuals describing the VCP tasks were a real asset. Tyler left the Digital VCP at the beginning of this year and joined Digital Antiquity full time as a Digital Data Curator working on a range of curation projects. He hopes to return to school to pursue graduate work in the future.

Katie Toye
Kay joined this cohort in the fall of 2016 as an archaeological technician from ERG. Though not a veteran, Kay has a background in emergency management, and experience working on archaeological field projects throughout the American Southwest. She is working on a Master’s Degree in emergency management. Her archaeological experience was a real asset on this project. We appreciated her knowledge and familiarity with CRM documents and data, which she shared with her VCP colleagues.

Cole Von Roeder
Cole joined Digital VCP in 2018 and is our newest member of the cohort. Cole served in the US Army from 2002 to 2014 in a wide range of capacities including driver, mortar gunner, squad leader, section sergeant, platoon sergeant, and company law Non-Commissioned Officer. He was stationed in Germany, New Orleans, Texas, and Korea and deployed to Iraq. He was honorably discharged in 2014. He is currently working on Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History at ASU. At Digital Antiquity, Cole has quickly learned the ropes. His inquisitiveness and passion for the subject matter are his greatest assets. After he completes his BA, Cole would like to go on to pursue a PhD in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology.

The Digital Antiquity staff is excited to highlight our newest intern, Hannah. Hannah is lending her expertise to our team this month before returning to her graduate studies at New Mexico State University next semester. Hannah is assisting with adding content to tDAR for the Digital Archive of Huhugam project, as well as creating content in tDAR for her graduate program  research. We are so happy to have Hannah on board and to provide the rest of the world with the opportunity to learn more about her!

Enfield Shaker Museum, New Hampshire, 2016

Staff Highlight

Name: Hannah Dutton

Position/Title: Digital Curation Intern

Degree: Masters student at New Mexico State University in Anthropology and Cultural Resource Management

Previous Work Experience/Research Focus: Historical Archaeology in Spanish Colonial New Mexico and Colonial New England, Prehistoric Archaeology in Nicaragua.

Publications/Career/Education Highlights: Lab Manager at the Enfield Shaker Museum Field School, survey work on the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro with New Mexico State University, 2017 SAA Poster on “Ceramic Compositional Analysis from Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua” with Drs. Justin Lowry and Jason Paling.

Notable Personal/Professional Achievement: I helped publish literature magazines and host poetry mics all through undergrad, while studying in the Social Science Department in undergrad.

Favorite Place to Travel To: My family’s cabin in Maine; no internet, no cable, limited phone service!

Fun Fact(s): I sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City as a freshman in undergrad! I also had an American Revolution-era reenactment costume as a kid because I’ve always been a major history nerd!


Mapping a site in Las Cruces, NM

Digital Antiquity staff will be attending this year’s AZ Historic Preservation Conference, which runs from Wednesday, June 6th to Friday, June 8th. On Friday, Digital Antiquity’s Francis P. McManamon, Leigh Anne Ellison, and Adam Brin will be presenters at the event –

Friday June 8th, 2018

Hotel Valley Ho – Scottsdale, AZ

Time: 9:50am – 10:40am

Subject: “The Digital Archive of Huhugam Archaeology”

Presenters: Leigh Anne Ellison, Francis P. McManamon, Adam Brin, David Martinez

Time: 10:50am – 11:40am

Subject: Designing and Carrying Out Digital Curation for Data Management, Research, and Sharing Programs

Presenters: Francis P. McManamon, Bill Doelle, Sharlot Hart, Teresita Majewski, Lauren Jelinek

While The Center for Digital Antiquity will not have a booth this year, please email Francis P. McManamon ( or Leigh Anne Ellison ( to set up a meeting.

For the fourth year in a row, Digital Antiquity has partnered with The Society for American Archaeology to preserve the meeting abstracts and make the presentations and data used to support them available in tDAR. As a presenter you can access your record in tDAR, edit the metadata, and upload a PDF copy of your paper, presentation, poster, or other supplementary data (up to 3 files/30MB). The project is now live in tDAR. Here’s how to get started:

Find your Abstract

Enter your last name, or the title of your SAA Poster or Paper
  1. Search for your abstract.
  2. Request access (will require a free registration).
  3. Once completed, we will send you a message within one business day with a link to edit the abstract and upload the record.
  4. Scroll down and edit or enhance any of the metdata.  Click on the green "add files" button under "Attach Document Files" and follow the prompt to upload a copy of your paper, poster, or associated data .  If you are adding multiple files (e.g. your paper, a copy of your presentation, and a dataset) you will probably want to create a project.
  5. You may save your work at any point along the way, but when your edits are complete, make sure to change your resource's status from "draft" to "active".
  6. Click save and you are done!
  7. As always, please call or email Leigh Anne at (480) 965-1593 or with any questions along the way!

Were you a presenter in 2017 (Vancouver), 2016 (Orlando), or 2015 (San Francisco) SAA Annual Meeting but haven’t uploaded your presentation yet? Not to worry–those abstracts are also in tDAR and can be found in the search bar at the top of this page too. Help other researchers find and cite your SAA presentations by making them available today!

Additionally, the tDAR SAA Member Benefit allows retired members, student members, members from countries with discounted rates, and members from Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to upload ten files (up to 100MB) annually to tDAR. Contact to request your voucher.

The Center for Digital Antiquity is incredibly excited to announce that for the first time, we have partnered with The Society for Historical Archaeology to preserve the meeting abstracts and make the presentations and data used to support them available in tDAR.  As a presenter you can access your record in tDAR, edit the metadata, and upload a PDF copy of your paper, presentation, poster, or other supplementary data (up to 3 files/30MB).  The project is now live in tDAR.  Here’s how to get started:

Find your Abstract

  1. Search for your abstract.
  2. Request access (will require a free registration) by clicking on the “submit correction, comment (requires login)" on the right-hand side of the page.
  3. Once completed, we will send you a message within one business day with a link to edit the abstract and upload the record.
  4. Scroll down and edit or enhance any of the metdata.  Click on the green "add files" button under "Attach Document Files" and follow the prompt to upload a copy of your paper, poster, or associated data .  If you are adding multiple files (e.g. your paper, a copy of your presentation, and a dataset) you will probably want to create a project.
  5. Click save and you are done!
  6. As always, please call or email Leigh Anne at (480) 965-1593 or with any questions along the way!

Thursday, April 19th marks the 10-year anniversary of the first record appearing in tDAR so this week we are celebrating here in the office, and we want to bring our users and contributors along to celebrate with us.  We are pleased to introduce the new Digital Antiquity Instagram account (@digitalantiquity), and will have multiple opportunities for our followers on Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram to participate and win prizes.

Many tDAR users may not know that the repository was born as a side project to a major data synthesis challenge.  Specifically, once someone had gone through the effort to track down and digitize data from across a region, how can these data be made more easily available to the next researcher?   Led by Keith Kintigh, Kate Spielmann, and K. Selçuk Candan, a group of 31 researchers met to develop recommendations for the discipline’s need for digital infrastructure to support synthetic research.  tDAR was born out of these recommendations.  Read more about the early history of Digital Antiquity and tDAR over on the tDAR website.

It seems appropriate then, that one of Kintigh’s other endeavors, the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis just awarded its first awards last week during the Society for American Archaeology meetings in Washington DC.  Synthesis remains a challenge in archaeology, but tools like tDAR (and ADS, Open Context, and others) are providing the infrastructure to support this important work.  Congratulations to the team at Digital Antiquity and happy birthday tDAR!

We are gearing up for a busy week in DC at the 83rd Annual Society for American Archaeology meetings, and we hope to see you there!  We’ll be in the exhibit hall all week ready to discuss digital preservation, access and all things tDAR.  Please stop by and bring us your questions, or just say hi.  We also will have a full schedule of workshops, presentations, posters and forums and we encourage you to attend.  You may also schedule time to sit down with one of us to go over your digital archiving questions and explore tDAR.  Please email to schedule an appointment today!

Monday April  9th, 2018

Digital Antiquity staff arrive in Washington DC.  If you would like to set up a meeting to discuss your digital archiving needs we are available to meet with you.


Tuesday April 10th, 2018

Available for meetings


Wednesday April 11th, 2018

Workshop: “Best Practices for Digital Data Management and Curation” 

Room: Madison B

Time:  1:00PM – 5:00PM

Leigh Anne Ellison and Francis P. McManamon, workshop leaders


Thursday April 12th, 2018

Digital Antiquity Booth

Room: Exhibit Hall A, #800

Time: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Forum: “Bears Ears, the Antiquities Act, and the Status of our National Monument”

Room: Marriott Salon 2

Time: 3:00PM – 5:00PM

Francis P. McManamon, discussant


Friday April 13th, 2018

Digital Antiquity Booth

Room: Exhibit Hall A, #800

Time: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Symposium: “At-Risk World Heritage and the Digital Humanities”

Paper: The Digital Archaeology Record (tDAR): An Archive for 21st Century Digital Curation

Room: Thurgood Marshall Ballroom East

Time: 8:00AM – 11:30PM (9:15)

Francis P. McManamon and Leigh Anne Ellison

Veterans Curation Program Lab Open House

Location: 816 N St Asaph St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Time: 10:00AM – 2:00PM


Saturday April 14th, 2018

Digital Antiquity Booth

Room: Exhibit Hall A, #800

Time: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Poster Session: “Digital Archaeology: Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, and Drones”

Room: Exhibit Hall B South, 238-i

Time: 8:00AM – 10:00AM

Rachel Fernandez and Leigh Anne Ellison

Electronic Symposium: “Futures and Challenges in Government Digital Archaeology”

Paper: “Sharing Curation Expertise and Space for Digital Archaeological Data”

Room: Delaware B

Time: 8:00AM – 10:00AM

Leigh Anne Ellison and Francis P. McManamon

Workshop: “Using tDAR: A workshop for SAA Members Benefiting from the SAA-Center for Digital Antiquity Good Digital Curation Agreement,” [Workshop Full]

Room: Madison A

Time: 9:00AM – 10:30AM

Leigh Anne Ellison, workshop leader

Forum: “In the Eyes of the Law: Contextualizing Archaeological Legislation Through Time and Space”

Room: Washington Room 5

Time: 1:00PM – 3:00PM

Francis P. McManamon, Discussant


Safe travels, and we look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. soon!

Digital Antiquity is pleased to announce Quartz, tDAR’s 18th major release.   This release focuses on enhancing collections, email, and other smaller enhancements.

New tools for creating and managing collections:

Resources owners now have new and easier ways to manage their collections. We we have made a number of changes to ease the management and creation of collections.

First, from the resource page, you can now click the “add to collection” button and quickly add a resource to a collection from there.

Second, the collection edit page now makes it a bit easier to both see everything in a collection and add/remove items from it.

Other features:

  • New type of Document: We’ve added a long-requested type of document “Report.” This new document type allows contributors to identify archaeological reports in tDAR and to distinguish them from “books” or “other materials.” If you have contributed materials to tDAR in the past, this feature is now available to you.  If you have a large number of reports that should be converted, please contact us.
  • Pretty emails from tDAR: All of the emails from tDAR are now easier to read, and cleaner.
  • A ton of smaller bug fixes and performance enhancements.