Pofatu: A new database for geochemical ‘fingerprints’ of artefacts (ScienceDaily)

ScienceDaily: Pofatu: A new database for geochemical ‘fingerprints’ of artefacts. “Due to the improvement and increased use of geochemical fingerprinting techniques during the last 25 years, the archaeological compositional data of stone tools has grown exponentially. The Pofatu Database is a large-scale collaborative project that enables curation and data sharing. The database also provides instrumental details, analytical procedures and reference standards used for calibration purposes or quality control. Thus, Pofatu ensures reproducibility and comparability between provenance studies.”

ARCHAEOLOGY Magazine offering temporary free access

Archaeology is offering temporary free access to its archive. From the site’s front page: “We are excited to introduce temporary complimentary access to our archive of over 70 years of ARCHAEOLOGY Magazine and to bring a world of discovery to your home. Use the link below to access the archive with an email address or to sign in with your digital subscriber information. Once you have signed up for an account, log in as a digital subscriber.”

Yonhap News Agency: S. Korea approves 680 mln won for digital archiving of inter-Korean excavation project

Yonhap News Agency: S. Korea approves 680 mln won for digital archiving of inter-Korean excavation project . “The government on Monday approved the spending of 688 million won (US$565,000) on creating a digital archive of relics found from a historical site in North Korea through an inter-Korean excavation project, the unification ministry said. The Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council approved the expenditure plan necessary to build the archive, including fees for data processing, creating content and consulting, according to the ministry.”

Eye on the Arctic: Archeologists create digital blueprints of historic sites on Canadian Arctic island

Eye on the Arctic: Archeologists create digital blueprints of historic sites on Canadian Arctic island. “The impacts of climate change can be hard to notice on an incremental basis, but when archeologist Peter Dawson stepped off a Twin Otter aircraft onto Yukon’s Herschel Island after a decades-long absence, there was nothing subtle about what he saw.”

Phys .org: Virtual reality can bring ancient cities back to life and improve conservation

Phys .org: Virtual reality can bring ancient cities back to life and improve conservation. “Today Ugarit is a Bronze Age archaeological site in northwest Syria, first excavated in 1929. It can tell us a huge amount about the past, but Ugarit is also a place in its own right. The conservation of the site needs to help us understand the site’s history, as well as preserving and restoring what remains. Our work on virtual reality and reconstruction can meet both these goals.”

Phys .org: Big data could yield big discoveries in archaeology, scholar says

Phys .org: Big data could yield big discoveries in archaeology, scholar says. “In a recently released edition of the Journal of Field Archaeology, Brown Assistant Professor of Anthropology Parker VanValkenburgh and several colleagues detailed new research they conducted in the former Inca Empire in South America using drones, satellite imagery and proprietary online databases. Their results demonstrate that big data can provide archaeologists with a sweeping, big-picture view of the subjects they study on the ground—prompting new insights and new historical questions.”

Sapiens: Spy Plane Photos Open Windows Into Ancient Worlds

Sapiens: Spy Plane Photos Open Windows Into Ancient Worlds . “The U.S. government declassified many U-2 images in 1997, making them freely available to researchers and the public. But they remained unindexed and unscanned. There was no way to access the images digitally, nor could people know where geographically each roll of film was taken or highlight the particularly interesting frames. In the past four years, my archaeologist colleague Jason Ur at Harvard University and I (a landscape archaeologist) have worked to make this complex photo archive accessible to other researchers and to illustrate its importance for history and anthropology. The result is a resource that we hope many scholars can take advantage of, a window into ancient sites as well as historical Middle Eastern communities as they existed more than half a century ago.”

Phys .org: Team creates game-based virtual archaeology field school

Phys .org: Team creates game-based virtual archaeology field school. “Before they can get started at their field site—a giant cave studded with stalactites, stalagmites and human artifacts—15 undergraduate students must figure out how to use their virtual hands and tools. They also must learn to teleport. This is ANTH 399, a course designed to bring the archaeological field school experience to undergraduate students who never leave campus. Designed by University of Illinois professors and computer science graduate students, the course satisfies the field school requirement for those pursuing an archaeology degree at Illinois.”

Mission accessible: Florida’s historic Spanish missions go digital (Florida Museum)

Another December one I missed, from Florida Museum: Mission accessible: Florida’s historic Spanish missions go digital. “Researchers, educators, students and the curious can explore the history of Florida’s Spanish missions via a new online database….the Comparative Mission Archaeology Portal includes digitized artifacts, image galleries, personal narratives and details of excavation sites.”

The Australian: Buried Roman city ‘discovered’ by Google Earth

The Australian: Buried Roman city ‘discovered’ by Google Earth. “Thanks to the clever use of electrical sensors, some ancient sources and Google Earth, Ostia Antica, the excavated, sprawling Roman city that rivals Pompeii is about to get bigger. The buildings set to emerge in the unassuming field on the edge of town could also change the way historians view the once-bustling port at the mouth of the Tiber.”

WUFT: Important Floridian Artifacts Collection Receives Almost $100,000 For Upgrades

WUFT: Important Floridian Artifacts Collection Receives Almost $100,000 For Upgrades. “The Florida Museum of Natural History has received almost $100,000 to upgrade over 20,000 artifacts from excavations of the Franciscan mission site of San Juan Del Puerto.”

Phys .org: Laser scanning leads to 3-D rendering of Robber’s Cave

Phys .org: Laser scanning leads to 3-D rendering of Robber’s Cave . “As bits of Robber’s Cave history fade to folklore, the thousands of engravings that crowd its Dakota sandstone walls like graffiti are likewise disintegrating, imperceptibly but inevitably, into miniature dunes at the base of the walls…. A first-of-its-kind project funded by History Nebraska and coordinated by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Richard Wood is preserving those voices by digitally mapping every millimeter of the cave’s 5,000-plus square feet, engravings and all.” There are apparently many Robber’s Cave places. This is the one in Nebraska.

Ars Technica: Archaeologists found 143 more images among the Nazca Lines

Ars Technica: Archaeologists found 143 more images among the Nazca Lines. “Archaeologists have rediscovered 143 more enormous drawings called geoglyphs etched on the rocky ground of Peru’s Nazca Desert, with one of the finds coming courtesy of a machine-learning algorithm. The new images emphasize how much ancient art lies on the 450 square kilometer (280 square mile) Nazca Desert and how much of it archaeologists still need to find and document.”

University of North Carolina: Archaeologists open ‘virtual museum’ of ancient NC history online

University of North Carolina: Archaeologists open ‘virtual museum’ of ancient NC history online. “The public got its first peek at decades of work by Carolina archaeologists when the new interactive website, Ancient North Carolinians: A Virtual Museum of North Carolina Archaeology, launched Nov. 15. Using lesson plans, travel guides and a gallery of 3D artifact images, AncientNC raises awareness of the 15,000-year history of North Carolina’s indigenous populations and provides educational resources for the state’s teachers and students.”

Heritage conservation in China: why ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ devoted her life to keeping Buddhist caves and relics alive (South China Morning Post)

South China Morning Post: Heritage conservation in China: why ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ devoted her life to keeping Buddhist caves and relics alive . “Anyone with more than an ounce of interest in Dunhuang will have heard of Fan Jinshi. Now 81, the Chinese archaeologist who has spent more than half a century researching and preserving the caves at the heart of the ancient Silk Road in Gansu province is known as the ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ in her field, though ‘protector’ is probably a more fitting description.”