Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists – archaeological geomatics – the majick of spatial data in archaeology – archaeological information systems for the digital age:
The final batch of source data has now safely received and is being processed for inclusion in my GSTAR project, kindly provided by the good people at Salisbury Museum. Thanks in particular are due to David Balston for assisting me and Adrian Green for giving the necessary permissions to use the data. This final batch of museum collection data will augment that already supplied by Wiltshire Museum to provide a more complete coverage across the study area. Importantly, this dataset includes much of the material from excavations undertaken by Wessex Archaeology who have also kindly made their archives available to me. Data was extracted in two ways; firstly using the Places node in the collections management system to look for parish names within the study area and secondly using the People/Organisations node to look for projects undertaken by Wessex Archaeology. This provided a good coverage of data for inclusion in GSTAR of around 8000 detailed records.
So the triumvirate of data is complete: data from archaeological fieldwork, data from museums collections and data from the Historic Environment Record. The next step is to use the tools already developed for museums collection data to process this source material and generate more Linked Geospatial Data for analysis and to support the technology demonstrators being constructed. Thankfully, Salisbury Museum, like Wiltshire Museum, use Modes for their collections management so the data provided as an xml export uses the same structure; as such, the xlst transforms and Stellar templates already built can be applied to this new data also without having to develop another processing pipeline.
It was also very nice to see the impressive new Wessex Gallery at the museum whilst visiting. Impossible to resist having a quick look around and I will be taking my girls there as soon as possible to see the incredible range of artefacts and have a go with the hands on archaeology activities. Of particular interest for me was the Amesbury Archer display, a chap excavated by Wessex Archaeology up at Boscombe Down and someone who I have been privileged to see close up whilst he was being looked after by WA post excavation and prior to being deposited with the museum.
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