Managing datasets from large archaeological projects

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Archaeological projects can generate large quantities of data in varied formats and increasing dataset sizes as digital technologies are now used more frequently in conjunction with standard methods. In order to ensure the sustainability and “FAIRness” of this data, careful planning and management of these datasets is required. The University of York’s Archaeology Data Service (ADS) Guides to Good Practice provide an excellent starting point and cover the most common data types for the complete project life cycle.

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Archaeology Data Service / Digital Antiquity – Guides to Good Practice

The Guides to Good Practice were originally produced by ADS and have been updated and expanded over the years in collaboration with various initiatives and Digital Antiquity in the US.

Source: ADS (Guide aims)

LEVEL: Intermediate-Advanced

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Digital Archiving

Introduction to the Guides with an overview of Digital Archiving

Source: ADS

LEVEL: Intermediate

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The Project Lifecycle

Managing the processes of data creation and curation through the different project stages.

Source: ADS

LEVEL: Intermediate

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Basic Components

How to create, curate and archive a cross selection of data formats including text, images, audio and video.

Source: ADS

LEVEL: Intermediate


Data Collection and Fieldwork: Guidelines for Aerial, UAV and Marine Survey, Geophysics, Laser Scanning, Close-Range Photogrammetry and Dendrochronology


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UAV Survey

Part Two of a two-part guide, concerned with establishing good practice when using a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to produce near vertical photographs of a site, as part of an archaeological survey.

Source: ADS

Stephen Gray

LEVEL: Advanced

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Geophysics

This guide aims to clarify the issues involved and provide examples and help with the storage and archiving of archaeological geophysics data

Source: ADS

Armin Schmidt and Eileen Ernenwein

LEVEL: Advanced

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Marine Survey

This guide addresses specific issues in the archiving and preservation of survey data generated as part of marine archaeology projects and to provide guidance on the planning and creation of a digital archive.

Source: ADS

Kieron Niven

LEVEL: Advanced

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Laser Scanning

A guide to good practice for the collection and archival of point cloud datasets and the additional derived products produced by terrestrial laser scanners in cultural heritage applications.

Source: ADS

Angie Payne

LEVEL: Advanced

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Close-Range Photogrammetry

A guide to good practice for the documentation and archival of close-range photogrammetry (CRP) datasets and the additional derived products produced by digital photogrammetry in cultural heritage applications, building upon existing documentation standards and which specifies the basic elements of a CRP survey considered important to possible future users of the data.

Source: ADS

Adam Barnes

LEVEL: Advanced

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Dendrochronology

The guide is aimed at both those creating dendrochronological datasets, and those that commission dendrochronological analyses. This guide does not cover the methods involved in dendrochronological analyses, but focuses on how to describe and archive the data and metadata involved in these analyses.

Source: ADS

ARIADNE: Peter Brewer and Esther Jansma

LEVEL: Advanced

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Aerial Survey for Archaeology

Covers the creation and preservation of digital resources resulting from aerial photography (incorporating optical and infra-red imagery collected from an airborne platform), satellite and airborne remote sensing (using a variety of sensors), and archaeological interpretations made from such data sources. As most of the raw data sources considered in this Guide are commercial products, or are not created and managed in digital format, detailed archiving advice is not appropriate for many primary data sources. Instead, archiving guidelines focus on secondary data such as archaeological interpretations and mapping.

Source: ADS

Bob Bewley, Danny Donoghue, Vince Gaffney, Martijn van Leusen, Alicia Wise and Kieron Niven

LEVEL: Advanced


Data Analysis and Visualisation


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GIS

Provides guidance for individuals and organisations involved in the creation, maintenance, use and long-term preservation of GIS-based digital resources. It should be noted that although the overall emphasis is upon archaeological data, the information presented has much wider disciplinary implications.

Source: ADS

Mark Gillings, Peter Halls, Gary Lock, Paul Miller, Greg Phillips, Nick Ryan, David Wheatley, Alicia Wise, Tim Evans and Kieron Niven

LEVEL: Intermediate

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CAD

This Guide is designed for individuals and organisations involved in the creation, maintenance, use, and long-term preservation of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) datasets in archaeology and constitutes a revision of the original CAD Guide to Good Practice published in 2002.

Source: ADS

Harrison Eiteljorg II, Kate Fernie, Jeremy Huggett, Damian Robinson, Bernard Thomason, Stephen Dobson, Ruggero Lancia and Kieron Niven

LEVEL: Intermediate

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3D models

Although an understanding of data capture methodology is key to interpreting the final 3D product, this guide focusses purely on the preservation and documentation of 3D models that are created at the end of these capture processes.

Source: ADS

Kieron Niven

LEVEL: Intermediate

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Case Studies

Seven case studies from various projects.

Source: ADS

LEVEL: Intermediate

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Preparing and Depositing Your Archive

Standards and guidelines, archiving requirements and repositories for deposition of archaeological data.

Source: ADS

LEVEL: Intermediate