Computerization meets the Roman Empire

Sep 22, 2005

Ancient Rome met 21st century e-science this summer in a Hampshire County field in Britain.

For the first time, archaeologists excavating at the Silchester Roman site used e-science techniques to record their finds. The techniques are being demonstrated at the e-science All Hands meeting in Nottingham, England, this week.

The archaeologists are participating in a project to build a Virtual Research Environment, to enable geographically-dispersed researchers to collaborate through online links.

Silchester is one of the most important Roman sites in Britain. The town layout remains just as it was when the Romans abandoned it in the fifth century.

Traditionally, archaeologists dig at the site during eight weeks each summer, recording their finds using paper and pencil. These records are then digitized the following winter for entry into a computer database.

"The project is streamlining the flow of data from excavation right through to publication, which traditionally is a very long process," said Mike Rains, a member of the project team from the York Archaeological Trust.

This year the archaeologists abandoned the use of paper and pencils, instead utilizing PDAs -- hand-held computers.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: When identity marketing backfires: Consumers don't like to be told what they like

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Visions of 1964 World's Fair didn't all come true

2 hours ago

Video phone calls? Yeah, we do that. Asking computers for information? Sure, several times a day. Colonies on the moon and jet packs as a mode of everyday transportation. OK, maybe not.

Instagram photo-sharing service goes down

2 hours ago

Popular photo-sharing site Instagram was not working Saturday, as frustrated users quickly turned to social network Twitter and other web sites to share their complaints.

Power arm band for wearables harvests body heat

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A group of Korean researchers have turned their focus on supplying a reliable, efficient power source for wearables. Professor Byung Jin Cho of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology ...

Amazon 'to release smartphone later this year'

7 hours ago

Amazon is preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of 2014, thrusting itself into a market already crowded with Apple and Samsung models, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Recommended for you

Online reviews: When do negative opinions boost sales?

17 hours ago

When purchasing items online, reading customer reviews is a convenient way to get a real-world account of other people's opinions of the product. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, negative review ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Online reviews: When do negative opinions boost sales?

When purchasing items online, reading customer reviews is a convenient way to get a real-world account of other people's opinions of the product. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, negative review ...

ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

First direct observations of excitons in motion achieved

A quasiparticle called an exciton—responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits—has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Warm US West, cold East: A 4,000-year pattern

Last winter's curvy jet stream pattern brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East. A University of Utah-led study shows that pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, ...