Towards an Effective Digital Archiving System                      for Archaeological Field Projects                      ...
1.1 ObjectivesThis paper has developed on three objectives, i.e. 1).To propose a new digital databasesystem for field of a...
types of content: full-text, bibliographic, numeric, and images. In addition Databases canorganize according to their orga...
1.1 Screen Shot: Field Definition Table   2. Data Entry Worksheet(s): The worksheet is the screen layout used to create an...
3. Print Format (PFT): The PFT is the format for display or printing of records.        1.3 Screen Shot: Print Format    4...
WINISIS database facilitates digital archiving systems according to archaeologicalrequirements. I have made an attempt to ...
1. Step: Open the Expert Search box from Search menu        1.5 Screen Shot: Expert Search box    2. Step: Open Search Win...
3. Step: Search result for the term                                Hyperlink to Source       1.7 Screen Shot: Expert Searc...
4. Step: Full text Document opened (You can read the map here)        1.8 Screen Shot: Map opened (Somadeva (2007), Rancha...
lack of resources, lack of financial support, of Lack of database systems, lack ofinfrastructural facility and fear for ne...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Towards the digital_archiving_sysytem_for_field_ar (1)

391 views

Published on

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
391
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
42
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Towards the digital_archiving_sysytem_for_field_ar (1)

  1. 1. Towards an Effective Digital Archiving System for Archaeological Field Projects R.M. Nadeeka Rathnabahu Assistant Librarian Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology University of KelaniyaAbstractArchaeology is a scientific study of the past and archaeologists are dealing with fragilematerial remains of the past human cultures. Vast numbers of archaeological projects thathave different objectives produce enormous assemblages of artefacts. Beyond thedilemma of purely academic nature the most decisive challenge face by the fieldarchaeologists is handling and archiving the materials unearthed by them. Most of thefield projects frequently remain with unsatisfactorily managed archival materialsincluding artefact indexes, field drawings, field notebooks and film negatives. Digitalarchival systems now available in the world provide archaeologists a wide opportunity tofollow a systematic procedure to get manage such information effectively. Contrary,this is one of the less focused areas of the current practice of archaeology in Sri Lanka. Application of digital archiving system provides a range of advantages. Some ofthem are sharing, exchanging and archiving documents effectively, Saving money, timeand space, disaster recovery, productivity, communication and collaboration, Levels ofclient satisfaction, accuracy and security, go green, long term preservation, easy and fastaccess to resources, and information sharing. This paper intends to discuss a viableprocedure of creating a digitalized archival database for archaeological field projects withspecial reference to the existing problems in the current recording and documentationpractices.Keywords: Digital Archiving, Archiving Systems, Archival Database, Archaeology 67Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  2. 2. 1.1 ObjectivesThis paper has developed on three objectives, i.e. 1).To propose a new digital databasesystem for field of archaeology 2). To identify the constraints and 3).to makesalternatives to overcome the problems.1.2 What digital archiving means?Digital archiving is a controlled mechanism of handling and storing data using computer-based programs. Computer software’s provide facilities to store vivid categories ofdatasets including spatial data (maps etc.) real-time recordings (photographs, videos) andwritten accounts. The growing hardware techniques offer a considerably large space tostore different types of data in different formats. The best approach for long-termpreservation of archaeological data in digital formats is for them to be systematicallycollected, maintained, and made accessible to users operating in very different computingenvironments (Brown 1998). Digital archiving is about preserving information regardless of the object onwhich that information is stored. The content, structure, and context of the informationmust be preserved in order for digital records to be migrated from one medium andformat to the next. This is because diskettes and other magnetic media degrade andsoftware and hardware change rapidly: the physical media on which digital data arestored are impermanent (ibid 1998).1.3 Digital archiving system in Sri LankaSri Lanka is still lag behind in the process of acquiring IT base technology to handlearchival materials. Especially this could be explicit in the field of archaeology. Perhapsthis is due to the budgetary constraints of increasing consideration large amount of fundsto get use of IT base technology. But the advantages provides by such may justifyresponsibility of even a heavy investment upon the digital archaeological system.1.4 Introduction - WINISIS Database SoftwareA database is a collection of information that is organized so that it can easily beaccessed, managed, and updated. In one view, databases can be classified according to 68Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  3. 3. types of content: full-text, bibliographic, numeric, and images. In addition Databases canorganize according to their organizational approach. CDS/ISIS for Windows or WINISISis the introductory database software for the field of archaeology. WINISIS database software, developed by UNESCO, is flexible, easy to use,menu-driven and generalized information storage and retrieval software. The software isdesigned specifically for creating and managing textual databases and has capability tocreate any number of databases with completely different data elements. (Rajasekharanand Nafala 2000?). WINISIS can be used for developing searchable digital archives of full textdocuments in doc, xls, ppt, html, pdf, audio, and video or picture format. A databasecreated with WINISIS can be modified into digital archive by adding a command line inits print format so as to display a hyperlink in the database display screen. The hyperlinkcan link up the record to the appropriate document in the digital document collection. Amouse click on the link will result in automatic opening-up of that document. WINISISapplication can be used by anyone having a reasonable computer experience (Ibid2000?).1.5 Technical Process of WINISISTo create a WINISIS database with any chosen fields, need to define the followingcomponents. 1. Field Definition Table (FDT): this is defines the fields such as Title of project, Supervisor of project etc. of the records in the database and their characteristics. FDT determines the nature of data entry worksheet. 69Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  4. 4. 1.1 Screen Shot: Field Definition Table 2. Data Entry Worksheet(s): The worksheet is the screen layout used to create and/or update the records of the database. This is one of the key parts of this database. Anyone can create this data entry fields according to their requirements. 1.2 Screen Shot: Data Entry Worksheet 70Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  5. 5. 3. Print Format (PFT): The PFT is the format for display or printing of records. 1.3 Screen Shot: Print Format 4. Field Selection Table(s) (FST): FST defines fields that can be searched in the database. Search is made possible by creating an inverted file of terms indexed from the fields chosen for search. 1.4 Screen Shot: Field Selection Table 71Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  6. 6. WINISIS database facilitates digital archiving systems according to archaeologicalrequirements. I have made an attempt to list some of the important attributes that could beconsidered as data fields as follows;. 1. Title of Project 2. Short Description of Project 3. Type of Project 4. Location of Project 5. Creators 6. Dates 7. Evidence in Archive 8. Bibliographic References.Title of project is most imperative to identifying and searching project details. Thesetitles are given the clue of projects. As an example: Ranchamadama excavation, Alawalaexcavation etc. In one hand, short description of project will help to catch the most relevantinformation which is pertinent to the excavation .On the other hand archaeologist shouldhave been mentioned their types of project and this project type may be a Surface survey,Excavation, Watching Brief, Survey or any other type of monument etc. Fourth importantelement is Location of Project. This is consisting of Site address, Site name, and Sitereference number, Parish, County and Nation. Creators is the fifth element of work sheetand Name of organization, Address, Director/supervisor, Project manager and Sponsor orfunding body should be mention here. This Information is most helpful for archaeologistsin terms of endorsing the responsibility. Sixth element is Dates. Especially Fieldworkstarted date, Fieldwork finished date and archive completed date should mention withinthe form. Evidence in Archive is the seventh element of the project form. Finallybibliographic reference also can mentioned.1.6 Searching the ArchiveThere are two types of searching systems i.e. 1. Expert search 2. Guided search .Let ussee how to retrieve full text documents from the archive. 72Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  7. 7. 1. Step: Open the Expert Search box from Search menu 1.5 Screen Shot: Expert Search box 2. Step: Open Search Window and searching 1.6 Screen Shot: Expert Searching Box 73Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  8. 8. 3. Step: Search result for the term Hyperlink to Source 1.7 Screen Shot: Expert Searching resultsClick on the Green Colour Hyperlink to open full text Document (i.e. Databases, CAD,Geophysics, GIS, Images, Movies, Spreadsheets, Statistics, Texts, Virtual Reality). 74Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  9. 9. 4. Step: Full text Document opened (You can read the map here) 1.8 Screen Shot: Map opened (Somadeva (2007), Ranchamadama Excavation)Finally this documents can converted in to web based application with GenisisWebsoftware .As a result users can access to archive via the World Wide Web (WWW).1.7 Advantages of Digital archivingEasy to back-up files ; Sharing, exchanging and archiving documents effectively, Savemoney, time and space, disaster recovery, productivity, communication andcollaboration, Levels of client satisfaction, accuracy and security, go green, long termpreservation, easy and fast access to resources, Information Sharing ,user-friendlymechanism are the benefits of WINISIS database software.1.8 Difficulties encountered in the usage of Digital archivingSeveral crucial problems pertaining to establish of the Digital Archiving System are :stored in always fire-proof, anti-magnetic facilities separate from the original data files;versioning control ; need to upgrade of hardware or software; lack of skills manpower, 75Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo
  10. 10. lack of resources, lack of financial support, of Lack of database systems, lack ofinfrastructural facility and fear for new technology and Virus attack1.9 SuggestionsTo participate local, international workshops, training staff, conduct in house workshopsand educated top management of the organization are the suggestion to develop this kindof archiving system in Sri Lanka1.10 ConclusionThere no any systematic method to preserve most important archaeological data andinformation for future generation in Sri Lanka. Therefore this WINISIS database softwaresystem may be extremely useful for field archaeology .I recommend that archaeologicalinformation held in digital archives be made available to the widest number of peoplepossible.ReferencesBrown, Adrian et al (1998), Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to GoodPractice (Peer Review and Consultation Version).CDS/ISIS for Windows - version 1.4 January (2001): notes and format examples. UNESCO,Paris .Rajasekharan. K and Nafala K.M (date not indicated), Creation of Digital Document Archiveswith Winisis, India: Library & Information Division Kerala Institute of Local Administration.Richards, Julian; Robinson Damian (1998) ,Digital Archives from excavation and Field work: aguide to good practice, 2nd ed., Oxbow books, Oxford.Somadeva, Raj (2007),Ranchamadama Purana Susana Bumiya Keneema, PGIAR, Colombo.UNESCO (2010),CDS/ISIS database software ,UNESCO and Information processing tools, URLhttp://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php- URL_ID=2071&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.htmlWinisis - supplement to the Reference Manual: versions 1.0-1.3, (1998 November) UNESCO,Paris. 76Published in the Sri Lanka Arcaheological Congress - Symposium proceedings , 8/7/2010, Colombo

×