The iPad is an ideal tool for field archaeology.

This blog sets out to bring together experiences of archaeologists using iPads.

Monday, June 27, 2016

THE DAY OF ARCHAEOLOGY 2016 WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY 29 JULY!




We are looking for people working, studying or volunteering in the archaeological world to participate with us in a “Day of Archaeology” in July 2016. The resulting Day of Archaeology website will demonstrate the wide variety of work our profession undertakes day-to-day across the globe, and help to raise public awareness of the relevance and importance of archaeology to the modern world. We want anyone with a personal, professional or voluntary interest in archaeology to get involved, and help show the world why archaeology is vital to protect the past and inform our futures.

Explore posts from previous years here...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Archaeology in the Round?


A new website providing links to archaeological photo spheres is now online.

The purpose of the site is to make these photo spheres easily available and also to encourage people to make archaeological photo spheres and publish them on the site.


You can find the site at: archosphere.eu

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Researchers investigate world’s oldest human footprints with software designed to decode crime scenes


Researchers at Bournemouth University have developed a new software technique to uncover 'lost' tracks, hidden in plain sight at the world's oldest human footprint site in Laetoli (Tanzania). The software has revealed new information about the shape of the tracks and has found hints of a previously undiscovered fourth track-maker at the site. 


The Laetoli tracks were discovered by Mary Leakey in 1976 and are thought to be  around 3.6 million years old. There are two parallel trackways on the site, where two  ancient hominins walked across the surface. One of these trackways was obscured  when a third person followed the same path [Credit: Bournemouth University] 

The software was developed as part of a Natural Environments Research Council (NERC) Innovation Project awarded to Professor Matthew Bennett and Dr Marcin Budka in 2015 for forensic footprint analysis. They have been developing techniques to enable modern footwear evidence to be captured in three-dimensions and analysed digitally to improve crime scene practice.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

People power: how citizen science could change historical research


Crowdsourcing research by ‘non-specialists’ could help historians investigate big-data archives, and in the process make everyone an expert



Citizen science is a digital method, which has been applied to a range of big-data scientific problems. The Zooniverse is a key player in this; having first sought the help of the crowd in classifying galaxies almost a decade ago, it now boasts 47 different projects with well over a million users. The projects hosted on their site have been bringing to the forefront concerns over who exactly is allowed to participate in science.

Even though the hierarchical structure of professional science still remains within most citizen science platforms (with the exception of the extreme citizen science movement), they have had the result of giving everyone access to the raw data of research, and an opportunity to demonstrate and develop expertise.

The methods of citizen science are now starting to be used for humanities projects. Citizen Humanities is opening up the vast archives of history to the public. A repercussion of this development is that it leads to questions as to who gets to participate in researching history, and what it means to be an expert.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

3D print of Oetzi the Ice Man revealed

One of three replicas of Oetzi the Iceman created for teaching purposes by Gary Staab, from resin and mixed media. Photo: http://www.staabstudios.com/

Scientists presented Wednesday a life-sized copy, made using a 3D printer, of Oetzi the mummified 5,000-year-old "iceman" found in the Alps 25 years ago.
Pre-existing CT scans were used to make the resin replica which was then sculpted and hand-painted by US artist Gary Staab over many months, the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, where Oetzi is housed, said.
"The reconstruction of the hands was a challenge, since they could not be captured on CT scans," the museum in Bolzano, northern Italy said.
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Actual World of Virtual Reality


For several years now, EMAS study tours have included a brochure that gives basic information about the sites visited and can sometimes even help as an aide memoire when you look at the photos that you took on the trip.


Printed brochures are fine, but they have their limitations.  Wouldn’t it be nice if they could include additional material, such as short videos?


Well, thanks to modern technology, they can.


If you have an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, you can use an amazing free app called Aurasma.


With this app you can view images that have added content and your mobile device will show you the added video.


The brochure that will accompany the EMAS study tour “Castles of North Wales” will be the first of these brochures to include such content.



p.s. if you have followed the instructions on the web page and want to check that everything is working, try viewing the imageat the top of this page.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Success for cutting edge artefact imaging technique


The EU TISCH project has demonstrated that terahertz imaging and spectroscopy can be a viable, non-destructive and non-invasive tool to aid the retrieval and analysis of images of obscured features of artwork. Through a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Dr Bianca Jackson from the University of Reading in the UK was able to apply this technique to inspect layers of paint, detect structural defects in ceramics and image the physical structure of paintings and manuscripts. 


Mosaic depicting Jesus at Hagia Sophia, Constantinople  [Credit: Columbia University] '

Institutions that carry out cultural heritage research don't have a lot of extra money for emerging technology, but they do have the hearts and minds of the people – folks love to talk about what is being done with technology to better understand the mysterious Mona Lisa, or whether or not a sarcophagus contains Queen Neferititi,' says Jackson. 'So one of best ways to reduce costs and increase the accessibility of terahertz technology to open up new and interesting areas of applied research.'

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Marie-Antoinette's torrid affair with Swedish count revealed in decoded letters


French experts unravel mystery content of Marie-Antoinette’s secret love letters to a Swedish count thanks to cutting-edge imagery technology



Newly decoded letters penned by Marie-Antoinette suggest France’s last queen had a torrid affair with a Swedish count, amid claims that two of the children she had with Louis XVI were illegitimate.
Two centuries after the notoriously decadent royal was guillotined during the Revolution, researchers in France have finally unlocked the secrets of blacked-out secret passages from Marie Antoinette’s letters to Axel de Fersen, a friend of France’s royal family.
The first of 13 passages to be revealed in the coming months reads: “I will end [this letter] but not without telling you, my dear and gentle friend, that I love you madly and that there is never a moment in which I do not adore you.”
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Lasers used to make Staffordshire Hoard replicas


Laser technology is being used to help create replicas of items from the Staffordshire Hoard.
The hoard contains 3,500 items of jewellery and weapons from Anglo Saxon times with a value of more than £3m.
The Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre in Birmingham is working with the city's Museum and Art Gallery to make pieces to go on show to the public.

Watch the video...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New digital tools could help speed up cultural heritage work

New digital tools could help speed up cultural heritage work © Shutterstock

Archaeologists will soon have access to new digital tools for reassembly and erosion, while advances in predictive scanning could open up new market opportunities.

The EU-funded PRESIOUS project has developed software tools that could help improve the efficiency of the work of European archaeologists at a time when funding is tight , and shown that computer simulation can play a key role in assisting researchers across a range of disciplines, including the preservation of cultural heritage artefacts. Once the project is completed, these tools will be made freely available for archaeologists to download, while the consortium’s industry partner has used some of the advances made. 

‘We set out to address some of the challenges that archaeologists face in their everyday work,’ explains project coordinator Professor Theoharis Theoharis from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 

‘In order to better understand what monuments will look like under certain erosive conditions for example, we built simulation software – within the timescale and resources available – that enables an archaeologist to scan a stone object and estimate erosion patterns under different conditions.’

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