The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Ethan Watrall is part of a team 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 making archaeological data open and freely accessible is a priority across Europe because the digital realm lacks appropriate, persistent repositories. The result is that, due to the fragility of digital data and non-repeatable nature of most archaeological research, we are poised to lose a generation of research to a “digital dark age.” Mitigating this crisis will bring archaeologists and data management specialists together to share expertise and create resources allowing them to address problems in the most appropriate way within their own countries. While important international standards exist, 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, 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 brings 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, setting state of the art standards for archaeological archiving across Europe. The project will also organize meetings and training, allowing 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.
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