Wednesday, 8 April 2015

$300 000 Grant to Digitize Archaeological Records

I recently came across this article describing a grant acquired by a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The grant, $300 000, will be utilized to digitize archaeological records associated American Southwest sites, specifically the Salmon Pueblo Archaeological Research Collection. This collection is associated with the Chocoan culture and contains recovered artifacts but also information on the unique architecture. The Salmon Pueblo Archaeological Research Collection is enormous, 1.5 million artifacts have been recovered, and as a result the associated records are equally as vast. The project sets out to digitize, and make public, all of the records from the excavation. It should be noted that the information regarding the location of burial sites and locations where religious offerings were made will be mapped and also made available to the public. The project is set to conclude in October of 2017.

Building stabilization project at the Salmon Ruins found at http://www.salmonruins.com/archaeology.html

I believe that this project can be used to examine the themes we have focused on in this course. The two themes that have me the most interested are the concept of open access and community engagement. Unfortunately this article does not describe the level of community consultation with local Puebloan peoples regarding the publication of information related to religious matters. I would be interested to find out how the communities feel about the fact that burial site locations will be made public.

Dunker, C. (2015, March 23). $300,000 grant will help UNL researcher digitize archaeological records. Retrieved April 9, 2015, from http://journalstar.com/news/local/education/257d06c3-269d-5999-890c-a618baccff89.html.

1 comment:

Josh Herter said...

It's really interesting to see estimates of the cost of digitizing archaeology. Just considering how they came up with the $300 000 evaluation for the grant is interesting in itself. Were you able to find anymore information about how this number was generated?

On another note, I agree that something about the Pueblo people and their contribution to the project should be mentioned. We have seen how involvement of First Nations in archaeology has become essential to Canadian archaeology and for good reason. These populations can often provide the cultural relevance to go with the artifacts. I am wondering whether the Pueblo people are in disagreement with the project which is the reason for the article not mentioning them. I look forward to seeing how this pans out and what the finished product will look like. Like SA, this project could have significant implications in the field of digital archaeology.