The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announced that Assistant Professor Ethan Watrall is part of a team that was recently awarded a European Cooperation of Science & Technology grant for the Saving European Archaeology from the Digital Dark Age (SEADDA) Project. The project is based on the premise that while making archaeological data open and freely accessible is a priority across Europe, the domain lacks appropriate, persistent repositories. The result is that, due to the fragility of digital data and non-repeatable nature of most archaeological research, the domain is poised to lose a generation of research to a “digital dark age.” The key to mitigating this crisis is to bring archaeologists and data management specialists together to share expertise, and create resources that allow them to address problems in the most appropriate way within their own countries. While important international standards exist and should be used, there is no single way to build a repository. To be successful, archaeologists must be at the decision-making heart of how their data is archived to ensure re-use is possible.
The SEADDA Project, which is based at the University of York (UK) and made up of scholars from 26 countries, will address these challenges by establishing a priority research area in the archiving, dissemination and open access re-use of archaeological data. It will bring together an interdisciplinary network of archaeologists and computer scientists; experts in archaeological data management and open data dissemination and re-use. The project will create publications and materials that will set out the state of the art for archaeological archiving across Europe. The project will also organize meetings and training that will allow archaeologists from countries with archiving expertise to work with archaeologists with few or no available options, so they may share knowledge and create dialogue within their countries, and move forward to address the crisis.11.26.18