Hello! I'm Teagan and you may be wondering how someone who sits in front of a computer all day can be an archaeologist. Well have I got a surprise for you.
I work as the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) which exists to digitally preserve archaeology data in a long lasting and easily distributed way (go open access).
Surprised that archaeology can be more than a person digging in the dirt finding all sorts of exciting things? Well finding things is only the first step (ignoring the witchcraft that is finding a site). These finds are then recorded and a record is created. But it’s not just physical finds that create records that make up the archaeological pool of knowledge, maps, site drawings (digital or otherwise), and more all help create a holistic view of what happened in the past.
That said, all of these records need to be stored somewhere so that people can act on these finds so new interpretations of the past can be brought forward. And that is where the ADS (and thus me) come in.
Here at the ADS we take in different types of data, preserve it, and then release it back to the public.
But the data doesn’t come to us in a ready to preserve and disseminate package complete with a bow. So that’s where I come in. I, along with my fellow digital archivists, take what has been deposited with us and preserve it in formats that are seen as more stable, and less likely to become obsolete anytime soon. However, when something does become obsolete, we then begin a conversion of all of that data so nothing gets left behind.
Depending on the archive this can take a few hours to a few weeks, but it’s all worth it in the end when we can put it up on our website and allow anyone who is interested, free access to the world of archaeology.
Well that’s all for me, this data won’t save itself!