Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shipwreck off Sicily

The BBC has released a video of an ancient shipwreck dating to c. 500 BCE. The wreck was discovered off the coast of Sicily in 1988.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan

The ninth issue of the open access journal British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan is available here today.


This issue features three papers from the Annual Egyptological Colloquium held at the British Museum in summer 2007: The ‘Head of the South’: current research in Upper Egypt, south of Thebes (July 12–13). It is intended that further papers from the colloquium will appear in a future issue of BMSAES.

Visitors to the British Museum website may have noticed that the collection of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan is now available through the Museum's Collection database online, through which visitors can order images for academic publication, free of charge.

Neal Spencer

Who was who in Elephantine of the third millennium BC?
Dietrich Raue

Elkab, 1937-2007: seventy years of Belgian archaeological research
Luc Limme

The rock inscriptions at el-Hôsh
Ilona Regulski

Wouldn't it be nice if they'd deploy a news feed?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Open Accesss journal business models

The Open Access Directory wiki includes a very useful synopsis of OA journal business models. Do you know of a scholarly society, editor, publisher, editorial board considering open access as a model? Send them there!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stable Geographic Entities

I have blogged previously on AWBG about stable resources. Those interested in the topic may want to read Tom Elliott's post Barrington Atlas IDs on Horothesia. It's important work that we can all use. You'll see that I already am. But those of us interested in the topic hope to achieve something of a "network effect" that benefits the entire community. So please adopt Barrington IDs if you think they have a role in your online efforts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

William T. Sanders, 1926 - 2008

William T. Sanders, one of the most productive and prolific Mesoamericanist archaeologists of the twentieth century, passed away July 3. I have posted a brief personal memory, emphasizing his publication record, on Publishing Archaeology.

I have also made a list of books by Sanders on WorldCat.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Point-and-Click Archaeology"

From the July 1, 2008 edition of The Wired Campus

Armchair archaeologists will have ringside, or dig-side, seats this month at university explorations of the world’s richest collection of rock art and the ruins of a Panamanian village that may once have been spotted by Christopher Columbus’s son, among other expeditions. Instead of swatting mosquitos, all they will have to do is click a mouse.

During July, undergraduates from the University of California at Los Angeles will write blogs from seven locations where they are taking part in archaeological digs. The countries include Albania, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and the U.S.

The blogs are for public consumption. “We want to create the next generation of archaeology fans,” Ran Boytner, director of international research at UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and head of the field studies program, said in a prepared statement.

The blogs will be written by students in UCLA’s field studies program. They will describe work at the largest group of pre-Columbian forts in the New World, in Ecuador; a 19th-century village in British Columbia that shows contact between newly arrived Europeans and indigenous peoples; remains of a Native American culture on Catalina Island, off the California coast; and a Peruvian valley lived in first by Inca emperors and later by Spanish conquistadors.

Transparency of Authorship in CDLI

A further note on sources of CDLI data

At the end of February of this year, we posted to the Agade mailing list a notice on "CDLI's policy of open access, and of fair use of published images of cuneiform inscriptions." While we hope that all colleagues welcome a central online access point for quick cuneiform text reference, we have received a number of recommendations that we improve the transparency of the authorship of all contributions to the documentation of primary cuneiform sources in CDLI pages.

The data source information that we have been able to cull from our own records is now online. Take for instance the text BCT 2, 2. The initial section of this page, according to our presentation format, contains in the left column a list of common catalogue information, including publication, author, collection IDs, provenience and period, together with a link to a page with greater catalogue detail, but now, added in the right column, metadata tags concerning the original sources of data found here. The catalogue entry itself derives in the first instance from the upload of a legacy database of the CDLI project named "20011220ur3cat"; the entry thus was entered to CDLI's central database on 20 December 2001, using the database "ur3cat", itself ultimately in large part a derivative of an Ur III database maintained by Marcel Sigrist in the 1990's. The original electronic transliteration of BCT 2, 2, was prepared by the Leiden team of Remco de Maaijer and Bram Jagersma

The digital image of the original artifact was prepared by CDLI staff (in this case by Jacob Dahl in Birmingham, processed by Englund in Los Angeles) and is for the non-commercial use of any person, but is, as in the case of all images of original objects prepared by CDLI staff, subject to the commercial copyright of the institution where the text is housed, here the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. Digital line art ("hand copies") of cuneiform artifacts, prepared by CDLI staff or other collaborating contributors, is, unless otherwise noted, to be credited to the primary publication author(s) cited in the first line of the catalogue section, thus in this case the published line art derives from the hand of Phil Watson. (Hand copies of earlier editors are as a rule stored as "line art detail".) Finally, we have initiated an automatic feed of transliteration revisions just below the transliteration found in the right column of the next section. The first "revision" of most current CDLI transliterations is credited to "cdlistaff" and represents simply their initial entry to our transliteration server.

We are hopeful that these steps will heighten the web presence of, and access to, collections, publications, and professional participation in cuneiform scholarship; we of course welcome corrections to the numerous errors and omissions that undoubtedly lurk in these new credit lines, and recommendations on how we might improve this process.

For the CDLI,
Robert K. Englund, UCLA
Jacob Dahl, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
Robert Casties, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin