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Digitizing the Past to Protect and Preserve History

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Chersonesos dig site

At the dig site at Chersonesos, technological innovations are making it easier to understand and reconstruct the past.

Credit: Institute of Classical Archaeology, The University of Texas at Austin

Archeologists now take thousands of digital photos, make notes in a database on a laptop or a tablet, and record careful, geographically referenced information that only a computer can decipher.

"The development of digital technologies has exponentially magnified the amount of data we're collecting, simply because we have the tools now to collect a lot more information much more easily than we did in the past," says University of Texas at Austin researcher Adam Rabinowitz.

Over the past 16 years, researchers have developed an extensive dataset related to research in the urban center and agricultural territory of Chersonesos, a Greek colony on the Crimean peninsula that thrived through the Byzantine age. Rabinowitz developed a data management system, framework, and interactive map for the long-term preservation and reuse of data from the Chersonesos project. The excavation database and map work together to display information about other items found nearby.

"We're preserving the data gathered at the site, and we're also documenting the documentation process itself," says University of Texas at Austin researcher Maria Esteva.

From National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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