CLAS: Center for Digital Antiquity

Equipment/facility: Facility


Digital Antiquity is a collaborative non-profit organization devoted to enhancing preservation of and access to irreplaceable archaeological records and data. Digital Antiquity supports archaeological research, resource management, education, and public outreach by providing new and innovative ways of finding, managing, preserving, and using archaeological information. Archaeologists, computer scientists, and information management experts have created Digital Antiquity with two basic goals. One is to improve substantially the ease of accessing and using archaeological information. The other, equally important, is to provide for the long-term preservation of the irreplaceable records of archaeological investigations.

By meeting these goals, we will improve the management and preservation of archaeological resources. Achieving these goals also will enhance the ways in which researchers can more effectively create and communicate knowledge of the long-term and historic human past. We expect that improving access and preservation will also make archaeological investigations and the curation of the physical and digital results of the investigations more efficient.

As a part of fulfilling its goals, Digital Antiquity oversees the use, development, and maintenance of the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), a unique digital repository for archaeological data.

tDAR is a multifaceted innovation: it is part international repository, part research tool, and part public access tool. As a repository, tDAR incorporates a new generation of technological and curatorial advances. Its functions center around the preservation of and providing access to archaeological information and research results. The tDAR repository provides researchers with an effective way to create and communicate their knowledge to a vast audience. It facilitates the collaborative efforts in solving dynamic research questions. tDAR allows the global community broad access to the human past through the records of archaeological studies, most of which have been relatively inaccessible. While spurring broader and easier access to archaeological information, tDAR retains the intellectual credits of the originator of the data and other parties involved. It provides for retaining the confidentiality of certain types of data (e.g., specific site location information of which the release of might endanger site preservation). The repository also enables contributors to limit access to ongoing research until they are ready to release it fully.


computer scientist
open channel
information management
research results