[Lod] Roundtable on Archaeological Databases--clarification

Alan Greene afgreene at stanford.edu
Sun Nov 23 00:30:46 CET 2014

Following up on my earlier post regarding the CAA roundtable described 
below, it should be noted that participation in CAA roundtables does not 
require formal abstract submission or long-format oral presentation as 
do the CAA "sessions." The format for each roundtable is set at the 
discretion of the organizers (see below for the specific detail of this 
roundtable on archaeological databases). All that is required to 
participate is a simple email to afgreene at stanford dot edu expressing 
interest and a potential topic/title for the contribution. Submissions 
will be accepted until year end.

Thinking between the lines: conceptualising the future of archaeological 

This session will combine 5 minute lightning talks--appropriate for 
describing specific database examples, solutions, or methodological 
approaches--with a concluding round-table discussion that pulls together 
the threads of a more reflective approach to the conceptual structure of 
archaeological databases and the ways in which databases influence our 
thinking through constraints and facilitation. The last decade of 
innovation and development in archaeological DBMS has provided a 
multitude of platforms, techniques, vocabularies, and movements in the 
management of complex datasets collected in the field and laboratory, 
not to mention the incorporation of materials from GIS and other sister 
disciplines. Beyond their most common usage as simple storage and 
visualization receptacles, what are archaeological databases for and 
where are they headed? How do the rarely unified goals of data sharing, 
publication, and analysis influence the types of databases sought or 
produced by archaeologists?

How do data management models affect the types of analysis and argument 
made by archaeologists as they interpret the past? Participants 
presenting lightning talks are invited to bring a poster to the 
conference, which will be displayed during the sessions. Each block of 
lightning talks will be followed by a significant networking period 
(approx. 40 minutes) around the posters to allow immediate 
person-to-person discussion of the ideas presented and the development 
of new connections. In the concluding roundtable, we aim to bring 
together representatives of the major archaeological database platforms, 
as well as those concerned with semantic structure, metadata standards 
and repositories. Panelists will be invited to address the fundamental 
concepts and theoretical commitments that underlie archaeological 
databases, from HCI and software architectures, through relationships 
with the web and social media, to an increasingly connected internet of 

This higher-level debate often takes a back seat to the practical issues 
of management, maintenance, and facilitation of other peoples' data. We 
encourage submissions on any topic related to archaeological databases 
including, but not limited to: the database structures and concepts 
essential to the management of archaeological data; the relationship(s) 
between goals of data curation, analysis, and publication; data sharing 
standards and DBMS communication, interaction, and translation; 
appropriate chains of data production and curation from data collection 
devices to tertiary HCI and data export; integration of archaeological 
databases with the internet of things; the benefits and hindrances of 
"social" archaeological databases; long term database sustainability as 
a possibility and goal; and the growing and changing roles of data 
management personnel, database administrators, and field archaeologists 
as data managers.

Alan F. Greene, Stanford University
Ian Johnson, University of Sydney

Please see the CAA call for papers 
(http://caaconference.org/2014/10/10/call-papers-now-open/) and program 
(http://caaconference.org/program/) for more information about the 
conference and procedures for participating in the roundtable.

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