Archaeology: an introduction is an electronic companion to the book of the same name by Kevin Greene and first published in 1995 (Routledge, 2002; ISBN 0415233550). The site is divided according to the chapters of the book. Within each section are annotated links to online resources and short paragraphs summarising the content of the chapter. Sample chapter headings include: the idea of the past; discovery and investigation; excavation; dating the past; archaeological science; making sense of the past. A hypertext index is also provided.
"Archaeology in Arctic North America", hosted by the University of Waterloo, Canada, is the work of Dr Robert Park - an archaeologist specialising in the study of past societies in the northernmost reaches of the North American continent. The archaeology of this area examines some of the most fascinating human adaptations to be seen anywhere, and presents logistical problems over and above those encountered during normal archaeological activity (including very short field seasons, permanently frozen ground and complicated travel and accommodation arrangements). Information provided by these pages is wide-ranging and varied. Information on the region's environment and climate, relevant to assessing human occupation in areas, is given, along with examples of the problems of conducting fieldwork in the Arctic. Following this is a discussion of the archaeological sequence (as it currently stands) of the North American Arctic region, centring on the Inuit-Eskimo groups of the area. A short and referenced excavation report of site QkHn-12, a Thule settlement dating to roughly 1000 years ago, is available. Of particular interest is the page on artefacts that singles out a Dorset culture figurine from a predominantly Thule culture assemblage. A further section details links and literature on North American Arctic archaeology, whilst three Quicktime videos are available online showing archaeological fieldwork being carried out. This website may be useful primarily to students.
ArchEd is a Windows computer programme for drawing and editing Harris matrices. ArchEd is free but users must register before they can download it. The website provides documentation and a simple guided tour of the programme. A FAQ page gives answers to a number of potential problems. There are mailing lists for discussion of anything about ArchEd and to receive notification of updates.
This website details the excavations of the Bala Hisar (High Fort) at Charsadda in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. Excavations began at the site in 1958 under the direction of Sir Mortimer Wheeler. The website relates the history of the site and its archaeology as well as detailing the results of a recent, AHRC and British Academy funded joint British-Pakistani excavation at the site. The site includes an online exhibition which gives photographs of excavations, a history of the fort itself and detailed information about the various archaeological digs which have taken place there. There are also sections on the carbon dating of material from these digs, which have been used to challenge Wheeler's original thesis about the age of the fort. A list of publications resulting from the project is also included.
This website is intended to provide an international focal point for information and discussion on the 'Harris Matrix' in archaeological studies. The website presents the history of the Harris Matrix and a section about Dr Edward Harris, its creator. There is a list of publications related to the use of the Harris Matrix, including commercial computer programs to draw Harris matrices. The website publishes also a valuable bibliography and some publications by Dr Harris. Although the website hypes the importance of the Harris Matrix field technique in contemporary excavations, it is rarely used nowadays, the method has historical importance. Undergraduate students may find this website useful.
The Monte Polizzo Handbook is an online version of the complete handbook provided to the participants of the excavation of Monte Polizzo in Sicily. Although some of the contents are of a practical nature, large sections introduce the history of the region and the work carried out so far. There is also a glossary and an essential bibliography of the site. All sections are available in PDF format. The illustrated handbook is valuable because of the information it provides on Monte Polizzo, the site of a major excavation, and its recently discovered Elymian acropolis. However, it also contains numerous pages on life during fieldwork and may prove an interesting read for volunteers or students on their first dig. Many fundamental field techniques are approached from a practical perspective and there also hints of the organisation, problems and also fun that are associated with any excavation.
The Nordic Underwater Archaeology website is a valuable resource for anybody interested in maritime archaeology. It provides an excellent introduction for those who have little knowledge about the subject and also has abundant links and online article for those working in the field. The site includes databases of wrecks, links to worldwide societies, museums, authorities, online journals, international news articles, legislation and conferences; and advice on investigation methods, salvage and recovery, and conservation. A paper describes the difficulties in ascertaining the difference between Portuguese and Spanish ships. This is a good website, not only about for the Nordic area but on a worldwide basis. This website is solely the work of Per Ćkesson, and has no official status but has support from The Swedish Underwater Archaeology Society (MAS) for its publication. The value of the site is attested to by the number of contributors who have submitted material. The principal language of the site is English but parts have been translated into a wide range of other languages.
This website presents information and photographs relating to archaeological surveys undertaken in the forum at Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. The Pompeii Forum Project is a collaborative venture sponsored by the National [USA] Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Virginia (amongst others). A large archive of black and white images of the buildings found there is online here, along with detailed reports on the technology and instruments used to undertake the surveys. Further reports give details of a project which uses the principles of structural engineering to investigate the reconstruction of Pompeii after an earthquake there in AD 62 (seventeen years before the eruption of Vesuvius). The focus is on the urban centre of the Roman city of Pompeii, and its urban history through to modern times. There are also links to further resources on Pompeii for use by teachers and students, and a list of lectures and publications relating to the project.
The website Slavia: Foundation for Polish history and culture is a collaboration between the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, the Nicolas Copernicus University, Toruń, the Slavia Foundation, and the Museum of the First Piasts. The site is in English and focuses on the archaeological work being carried out at Lednica and Giecz in Wielkopolska. The Museum of the First Piasts of Lednica (Muzeum pierwszych Piastów) offers educational courses in archaeology, anthropology, human osteology, ethnography, and palaeoecology. The work concentrates on the period of the tenth and eleventh centuries when Lednica and Giecz were significant settlements. It is thought that Ostrów Lednicki was where Mieszko (the first Polish ruler to accept Christianity) built a fort and a residence. The site is also fundamental to the Germanic-Slav archaeological debate which sees both sides laying claim to finds in the Wielkopolska area. A site which provides information on the summer digs which students can attend, about the sites at Lednica and Giecz, and reproduces a basic article on the site. There is a section dedicated to the documentary filmed by the Discovery Channel at Giecz. The site also presents the table of contents of the Slavia Project Handbook which the participants in the field schools receive.
This is the website of the Society for Libyan Studies, founded in 1969 with support from the British Academy. The Society aims to encourage and coordinate the activities of researchers working on Libya in Britain and elsewhere. The Society is interested in a broad range of research including: archaeology; history; linguistics; natural sciences; and religion. The site is a valuable resource for information on current academic activities and potential sources of support for researchers. The Society provides some grants and scholarships and organises fieldwork trips. It also publishes the Journal of Libyan Studies, and the site provides tables of contacts for the volumes for 1983-1999, plus abstracts for some of these volumes. Details of forthcoming lectures and meetings concerning Libya are given, plus details of relevant collections in British libraries and archives. The site links to: archaeological sites in Libya; Libyan and British institutes; and other relevant sites.
Stratify is a programme which automatically lays out a Harris Matrix diagram showing the stratigraphical relationships of archaeological contexts. It takes into account all of the available information on chronology and groupings. Context data is stored in a relational database. Results from the programme can be exported in a number of bitmap and vector graphics formats. In particular, Mapinfo, CSV and Dbase formats are available as export formats. The website has an annotated slide show demonstrating the use of the programme. A manual and two papers describing the programme are available as PDF files. Stratify is free to download.
The "Supporting Community Archaeology in the UK" website produced by for The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) publishes an updated report (in PDF format) by Dr Suzie Thomas entitled "Community Archaeology in the UK: Recent Findings". The report concludes that in 2010 up to 215,000 individuals may be available to be involved in such projects, a resource to be assessed against the declining role of universities in excavations due to funding cuts.Professional archaeologists are usually in charge of such projects, but excavation only accounts for about 410f such projects and it is emphasised in the report that the skills brought by volunteers are often ignored. "Popular activities [among the volunteers] include recording through photography, attending talks or lectures, lobbying on heritage issues, and fieldwalking". The sustainability of the projects is a serious concern. Local conditions and communities affect deeply such projects and their outcomes.
The website also includes a blog and a series of presentations (also in PDF format) from a workshop on the subject. Anyone interested in archaeology in the UK or anywhere else should read the report as community archaeology offers great potential that has not been fully recognised or tapped yet.
The website of the Templo Mayor Museum in Mexico City preserves, exhibits and publicises information on archaeological materials excavated over the course of several seasons of work conducted by the Templo Mayor Project, from 1978 to the present. Long presumed to be lost, the precinct of the Aztec Temple Mayor (or Great Temple) of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) was discovered during routine maintenance work in the old colonial urban centre. An unparalleled archaeological source, the Templo Mayor is a vital and unique key to understanding Aztec society. An accessible resource, this website not only discusses the archaeological excavations conducted to date on the site of the Great Temple, but also provides a clear and detailed explication of Mexican culture and history. With useful links providing cross-referencing to explanations and images and a helpful glossary, this is an extremely well-designed site of use to Mesoamerican scholars of all levels, from the academic seeking archaeological images to the school student wanting an accurate and comprehensible synopsis of the pre-colonial Nahua culture of the Valley of Mexico.
This site has been compiled by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and includes information about explorers, diving equipment, and exploration, examining shipwrecks around the French and other coasts. The site describes many aspects of underwater archaeology. From the home page the user can branch off into five subjects: the history of the discipline and its attendant technology; the techniques used; the exploration of current underwater archaeological sites; the organisations engaged in the discipline; and a separate section on La Grotte Cosquer (the Cosquer cave), a marine cave near Marseilles with some marvellous Neolithic paintings (including some charming penguins). Each of these sub-sections is further divided, so that "techniques", for example, offers a wealth of information on exploration, robotic submersibles, diving equipment of various types, conservation, restoration, carbon dating, dendrochronology, radiography, and other topics, while "Research Teams" offers links to research institutes, laboratories and museums.Analyses of a number of underwater sites (predominantly shipwrecks) are provided, organised by geographical region. Clickable maps give access to pages describing the sites and artefacts recovered from them. Each site has a page with photographs of finds and links to more detailed bibliographical information. The site is smartly presented and available in English, French, and Arabic. It is designed to appeal to the general user, although professional archaeologists should also find elements of the site useful.