The Tourist

“Hey man, slow down, slow down
Idiot, slow down, slow down”

—Radiohead, “The Tourist”

Paisley Abbey, Paisley, Scotland.

Today’s Day of Archaeology post is neither about video game archaeology (archaeogaming) nor Punk Archaeology, as I’ve largely written about for DoA for the past five years. Instead, on July 28, 2017, I was a tourist and traveler who opted to spend his discretionary pre-flight time in the town of Paisley (near the Glasgow Airport). I had come to Scotland at the invitation of the Merchant City Festival to talk about the Atari excavation and to moderate a panel on Punk Archaeology featuring four people who were in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Paisley in the late 1970s and early 1980s as musicians, as a record shop owner, as a record label “executive”. But seeing as these events were at night, I had my days to myself. So what did I do? I became a heritage tourist, visiting Dumbarton Rock, the Kelvingrove Museum, the Riverside Museum of transportation, the Govan Stones, the Necropolis.

On my last day, the Day of Archaeology 2017, I went to Paisley Abbey, a £3.50 train ride from Glasgow. I exited the railway station at Gilmour Street and immediately took a wrong turn, enabling the psychogeography of Paisley in which I generally spiral out from my point of disembarking to see things no other tourist will see. In this case, urban Paisley. I ultimately found myself in front of the old observatory (which was shut), and then wound my way back down into town along the main road, searching for signage pointing the way to one of Scotland’s most storied abbeys.

Paisley paving stones in Paisley.

Coming back into the town’s center, I found a large kind of macro-mosaic of a giant paisley pattern. As it happens, this town created the pattern which bears its name, and there is a textile museum (which I did not have time to visit) that features the story of Paisley and eponymous design. The town celebrates its heritage in subtle ways like this one, and as I crossed the river, familiar signage (posts with labeled metal arrows) pointed the way to things to see. But there was the Abbey, not 400 yards from the rail station, which I had missed by turning left instead of right.

Paisley Abbey was founded in 1163 by Walter Fitzalan, Scotland’s first High Steward. The Abbey is very much a living building, having seen several expansions, a fire, one major roof collapse, the addition of the central tower, the relocation of graves for the “new” edition of the north transept in the 19th century. I used my phone for photography only. There is no WiFi here. I did not burn my data on hunting for pocket monsters, either. I was drawn to the place on a recommendation from a friend, and needed no digital lure. I opted against the audioguide (which I’ve been told is quite good), instead choosing to speak to one of the volunteers inside the Abbey proper.

Heading in, one is not confronted with advertisements or any kind of gimmick. The shop (and cafe and toilet) is modestly marked and is behind a door that’s kept shut. The way in to the center of the Abbey is well marked and inviting, and I turned the iron ring to unlatch the door, and then gave a sizable push to dislodge the door. I was greeted warmly by two older gentlemen who immediately wanted to know where I was from, and invited me to leave my backpack in one of the pews so I could enjoy the space unencumbered. They seemed genuinely honored that I had chosen Paisley as my last stop. One of the men brought over a 3-ring binder containing historic drawings, maps, and photos of the Abbey over time to walk me through the history of the building, something he said he hadn’t done in quite a while. There was a photo of Queen Victoria’s visit to commemorate the historic Abbey, and we enjoyed finding her amongst the hundreds of people pressed together for such a unique visit.

The docent then gave me a laminated plan of the Abbey, annotated with snippets of information about various elements such as the “Wallace Window” at the back (William Wallace was educated at the Abbey in the 13th century), the tomb chest of Marjory Bruce, and the massive pipe organ installed in 1872, which still plays and is tuned by placing dents in the metal pipes. There is even a plaque of John Witherspoon, native of Paisley, who moved to Princeton, New Jersey (very near my house) and signed the Declaration of Independence. When the docent told me that, he added that he wished Scotland would become independent, too.

As I explored, I read everything on the walls, ancient and modern plaques, plus a wall of laser-printed pictures and signage that gave a running history of the Abbey and its royal guests. The interior space of the Abbey, the coolness of its stones, and the muted light entering its stained glass windows (including a modern one from the 1980s, which reminded me of Tiffany glass), required me to take my time to look and to explore. Paving stones inside the Abbey held names of notable people interred within (and without) the space. A “wee museum” in the sacristy held old stones and newer silver patens. There is a giant stone cross in the back of the Abbey said to have been found near the first construction site, where people of the 11th and 12th centuries would gather before a church was built.

I was admiring the pipe organ when the docent approached me again. He had an atlas, and it was open to a map of the United States. He said he didn’t realize how close New Jersey was to New York City and to Philadelphia. I pointed to where I lived, and he wanted to know if I’d been to Philly, if I’d seen Rocky. I had, and I told him that the film was very much a part of that city’s heritage, that there is a statue of Stallone’s character, and that there are even footprints at the top of the stairs of the art museum. He then said that Scotland has its own “Rocky” story, a 1955 film called Wee Geordie, in which an undersized Scottish lad refuses to give up on his dream to be a world-class hammer-thrower, and refuses to exchange his kilt for other attire when representing the UK in the Commonwealth Games.

At the end of my visit, I realized I had spent an hour here, typically longer than I spend when visiting historic churches, because I was fully engaged with the structure, with how its history had been organized, but more so because of the person I met who was willing to take the time to tell me things if I had the time to listen. I’d noticed this earlier with other Scots I’d met, both friends and strangers. Everyone seems willing to take the time to talk, to slow down, to enjoy a conversation, to learn about something or someone. I have missed that kind of connection in the urbanized East Coast of the US, but recall similar experiences when exploring the High Plains or the American West.

Even though I had a plane to catch, I did not feel rushed, and I learned a lot. There was nothing digital about the place at all (not even an introductory video), and that allowed me to engage with the space itself, and the people within it. My only regret is not remembering the docent’s name.

It felt good to be a tourist, and to slow down. Paisley Abbey reminded me how.

—Andrew Reinhard

PS: I want to extend a very special thank-you to Lorna Richardson and the rest of the DoA collective for allowing me to be a part of the team these past six years.

 

No Man’s Sky Archaeological Survey

No Man's Sky Archaeological Survey mission patch

Mission patch design by the author

On 9 August 2016, the No Man’s Sky Archaeological Survey (NMSAS) will mark the first time archaeologists have attempted to record in an archaeological way virtual material culture in a procedurally generated universe. One goal of the 3-year project includes documenting machine-created material culture, or how worlds, cultures, artifacts, built environments, lore/history, and even spoken and written language are created by algorithms created from over 800,000 lines of code. Another goal is to attempt to observe and identify emergent behaviors from the complexity of the code and player interaction with it, documenting game-created “artifacts” (i.e., glitches) and unexpected interactions that are more a part of the deep syntax of the game itself rather than the virtual environments it creates.

(image: Hello Games)

(Image: Hello Games)

For those readers who do not know about No Man’s Sky, this is a video game created by Hello Games (Guildford, UK) for PlayStation 4 and PC, which has, for all intents and purposes, created a universe-sized virtual universe of billions-and-billions of planet-sized planets to explore on a 1:1 scale. Some of these planets have virtual life, and some of those planets will have sentient life paired with non-natural constructions, architecture, and artifacts both large and small, old and new. The reason NMS has received so much attention is that every bit of the game (including audio) is procedurally generated. The developer has created a large set of rules and design elements that will combine to create unique spaces to discover. So how will this look in the game, and how will the game “interpret” those rules to create material culture on-the-fly? Our team of archaeologists wants to know.

bead

(Image: Hello Games)

Because the universe is life-size, it will be impossible to explore all worlds. For this reason, I wanted to conduct an archaeological survey that would planet-hop towards the center of the universe. The team’s survey methods are directly derived from two real-world survey projects, the Pyla-Koutspoetria Archaeological Survey and the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey. Both surveys use modern surveying methods on how/where to survey, what to observe and collect, as well as a new way of thinking about object typologies, “chronotypes.” I scaled these projects’ methodologies to apply them to surveying entire systems, and borrowed (with permission from Bill Caraher) the survey and fieldwalker forms used, converting them for conducting surveys on a planetary scale.

Our surveyors will select promising planets to orbit, and will complete several orbits prior to flying their survey spacecraft over the surface of these worlds, geotagging surface features for further study. Following the completion of several flyovers, the surveyors will touch down and conduct a handful of fieldwalking surveys, noting types/numbers of artifacts within 1 sq. km (or more), repeating a few times on the planet’s surface, again tagging features while taking screenshots and video. We expect that some surveys will yield sites that require proper excavation, and it is our hope to return to these worlds to map and dig. For the time being, the team will only survey.

faims-home

Regarding data collection, NMSAS has partnered with FAIMS (Field Acquired Information Management System) to create a set of custom/bespoke online forms, which run on Android devices as well as PC and Mac desktop clients. FAIMS has provided tools to several archaeological projects, the NMSAS being the first one to 100% occupy a virtual world. One set of forms pertains to orbital and suborbital transects, and the other set of forms pertains to fieldwalking units conducted post-transect. The two screengrabs below show only a portion of each form.

Portion of the Transect form created for NMSAS by FAIMS

Portion of the Transect form created for NMSAS by FAIMS

 

unit

Portion of the Unit form created for NMSAS by FAIMS

The data collected by each survey team member is automatically synced with the FAIMS server, which is instantly available to all other surveyors. Ultimately the data and media collected will be ported over to the online Open Access archaeological publication platform, Open Context.

Open Context

The NMSAS team look forward to sharing its findings with anyone who wants to see them. After the first month or so of initial exploration, the team will create and publish a white paper explaining best-practices along with a standardized, working vocabulary and typology for the crowdsourced side of the project. After the first three months, we will publish a preliminary report online and Open Access, followed by a one-year report of the project so far.

Members of the team will blog, tweet, and stream their progress. At the start, the main communication channels for the NMSAS project are @nmsarchaeology on Twitter at NMSArchaeology on Twitch. Email can be sent to the team as well. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

NEEDS: If you have GIS expertise and an interest in exploring the game archaeologically, please send an email to the above address. Also, if you have modding experience via Steam, we need to discuss the construction of probes and drones for use on planets, and for interstellar survey.

To learn more about the archaeology of No Man’s Sky, click here. To read the NMSAS Code of Ethics for the survey team, click here.

Punk Archaeology: The Album

Punk Archaeology: The Album

Punk Archaeology: The Album

As I wait to board my flight to Detroit to participate in the Maker Faire this weekend at the Henry Ford Museum (where I’ll be talking to the public about archaeology), I’m listening to the Punk Archaeology album from 2013: 17 somewhat NSFW tracks clocking in at 43 minutes. Ditties include “Do the Archaeologist”, “Archaeologists Teaching Languages”, “Soiled”, “Austerity”, “American Looters”, and more. Put this in your ear when you’re angry about funding cuts, academia, funding cuts, and academia. Or play it loud in the excavation house.

Listen/download for free here to add an edge to your Day of Archaeology.

Andrew Reinhard

 

“This is what an archaeologist looks like.” Help support the Day of Archaeology!

Show the world what an archaeologist looks like by wearing one of the official Day of Archaeology shirts now available online (http://www.zazzle.com/dayofarchaeology). Several styles are available for women, men, and children, and you can pick the color you like (because archaeology isn’t always black-and-white!). Bonus points to you and your team if you wear these on the Day of Archaeology, July 28th 2017. Proceeds help to offset operating costs of the project. Thanks for your support!

The Day of Archaeology team

 

"This is what an archaeologist looks like."

“This is what an archaeologist looks like.”


Day of (Media) Archaeology

I have always been a Classical archaeologist. I was chosen to become a Punk Archaeologist. I became a media archaeologist by accident. On today, the 2014 Day of Archaeology, I am embodying this Trinity, these three archaeologies in one person. How did this all happen? And why today?

Classical Archaeology

In my capacity as Director of Publications for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), I have blogged three times previously (here, here, and here) on what I’m doing with archaeological publication. I still publish the journal Hesperia in print four times a year as well as a digital edition. I still publish print monographs and guidebooks. Today, as the print edition of The Athenian Agora: Museum Guide comes back from the bindery in Athens, I am building an interactive guidebook for it in HTML5 for use on Android and iOS devices to enable guests to browse the collections in whatever order they choose. I’m also entering content into Google’s free Field Trip app for the site of Ancient Corinth (which launched last week for the Athenian Agora), to allow for non-linear, wander-where-you-will exploration of these vast archaeological spaces. Today I am also writing a draft grant proposal to help fund the creation of a new kind of archaeological publication, something without any print component, that will include synthetic text, 2- and 3-D images, 3-D printer specs, query-by-image, -by-map, and -by-time, interactive data tables, and a “more like this” feature for exploring pottery fabrics by what they look like. All of this stems from my love of Classics and especially of the archaeology of the Greek world, and this deep and abiding love drives me to create new, better tools and publications to give this archaeology (and ultimately others) the publications venue it deserves while critiquing its current state and forecasting a better future (something I published here this week). Part of communicating archaeology is making it widely available and accessible to a global readership. The ASCSA’s efforts to make publications available as Open Access continue with 57 titles now available for free to read, download, and share. FieldTripPunk Archaeology

I didn’t invent Punk Archaeology. That was the love-child of Bill Caraher and Kostis Kourelis and can be thoroughly explored via their eponymous Punk Archaeology blog. I came to Punk Archaeology like St. Peter came to Jesus, and was baptized in Fargo at the first Punk Archaeology unconference on Feb. 2, 2013, where I played my first public rock show and published my first album, a collection of Punk Archaeology songs about cultural heritage, teaching, and excavation. In 2014 the book inspired by that unconference, Punk Archaeology, will be published with the appearance of a printed ‘zine. And today I am completing my abstract on Punk Public Archaeology as part of a panel for the 2015 Society of Historical Archaeology (SHA) annual meeting.

Building off of the definition of Punk Archaeology (#punkarch) established by Caraher and Kourelis, I define the movement and method as the following:

  • Apply a do-it-yourself (DIY) aesthetic to archaeology projects, especially when funding, personnel, and other kinds of support are lacking.
  • Study marginalized archaeologies, and conduct the archaeology of cultures and places eschewed by the Academy.
  • Study the history and archaeology of Punk and Punk places.
  • Engage in actively communicating to and involving the public in all aspects/phases of archaeology.
  • Promote a spirit of cooperation and sharing of tools, data, and other resources with all other archaeologists, Punk or not.

punka_cover_1Media Archaeology

“Indeed, what media archaeology investigates are also the practical rewirings of time, as is done in media artistic and creative practice work, through archives digital and spatial, as well as DIY and circuit bending which recycle, and remix obsolete technology as much as they investigate how technology is the framework for temporality for us.”

-Jussi Parikka, Cartographies of Media Archaeology

I became a media archaeologist first through Punk Archaeology, namely in my born-again interest in Punk rock, and an addict’s desire to acquire all the gear to the neglect of all else. I was (and still am) deeply invested in record-bin excavations, and I continue to quest for mix- and demo-tapes, not for their resale value, but on the chance of discovering an unknown band or, better, yet, being able to trace the history of those cassettes throughout a community of listeners 25-40 years ago.

In April 2014, this obsession got a name: Media Archaeology. It came about with my involvement as one of the archaeologists invited to excavate the fabled “Atari Burial Ground” in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Our team, in cooperation with city workers, state environmental agencies, the landfill owner and his family, and a documentary film crew, excavated and documented 1,300+ Atari video games buried there in 1983, in the first-of-its-kind excavation of this kind of media. We were literally digging our own cultural heritage. With the salvage excavation over, we began writing for a general (and general archaeological) readership in Archaeology magazine, and in a forthcoming article for the Atlantic. Another piece written by Joshua Wheeler will appear at the end of the month in Harper’s, and the documentary film, Atari: Game Over, will premier at the San Diego Comic Con on July 25th.

Today I continue to work on my part of the technical article about the excavation that will be submitted to a peer-reviewed academic journal, and I am also continuing to review the photos and videos the team shot before, during, and after the Atari dig in anticipation of making everything Open Access possibly through OpenContext.org in 2014 or 2015 once our article is published. I have also just submitted an abstract for a panel on archaeological methods in media archaeology for a conference in Bradford, UK, in September, where I hope to talk more about how we decided to dig and document the way we did, and what we might have done differently.

atarireinhard

It gives me great pleasure to be able to do these archaeologies today, and every day, and I encourage everyone to broaden their horizons when it comes to this discipline and how we can communicate what we do.

Punk Archaeologist without Borders

I was called a “punk archaeologist without borders”, the first time by Ph.D. candidate Aaron Barth in his blog, The Edge of the Village. It’s a title I share with Bill Caraher, fellow punk archaeologist, and one who helped out me as same. And while I hope Dr. Caraher does blog today for the Day of Archaeology on all things archaeological and punk, I wanted to focus on how things have changed for me as an academic archaeologist into one who really would like to free your data, apply archaeological concepts/methods to non-traditional venues, exploring places on the planet other than Greece, and integrating a punk DIY attitude towards the publication of archaeology in both traditional and new media for both traditional and new subjects.

reinhard-photo

(Andrew Reinhard, Punk Archaeologist without Borders. Photo by the author.)

Yesterday I cheered as we went to press for Ronald S. Stroud’s volume on the inscriptions from Corinth’s Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, published by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) where I am the Director of Publications. Today I’ll create the PDF eBook for it, adding bookmarks, but more importantly, adding outward-facing links to people and place authorities that are both online and open access, thereby adding extra context to an already rich publication. I’ve been called out twice in the past week by two different archaeologists to define the ASCSA’s position on publishing non-2D material (e.g., 3D scans, images, models, reconstructions, etc.), and while I craft my positive responses to these challenges, I’ll say now that I want every author publishing on any site to do his or her best to provide not only 3D manifestations of what’s been excavated and interpreted, and to at least experiment with 3D scanning an mapping to support their publications. Sebastian Heath, another punk archaeologist (although he might not yet know it), has been experimenting with 3D and archaeology. Have a look. Ideally I’d like to have excavations submit schema for 3D printing of what’s traditionally been the plates section of their monographs so that readers can hold scale models of what was recovered on excavation. And I’d like to publish complete data sets online to support the text in a book or article.

My work at the ASCSA has also led me to rethink the archaeological guidebook. We’re currently working on the Athenian Agora Museum Guide and the Corinth Site and Museum Guide. Both will be traditionally published, but there will also be an eBook available. Most importantly though will be the apps that I’ve been developing on the Inkling Habitat platform initially for the Athenian Agora Site Guide, but ultimately for any guidebook the ASCSA cares to produce. I’m building the apps myself, creating a heavily linked system of intra-document jumps, along with other links out to places like Pleiades and to ascsa.net to provide readers with added value of additional, deep content managed elsewhere on the Web. The guides now read less like a book, and behave more like the Web, allowing meandering visitors to use the guide in a non-linear, more organic way. The bugbear has been adding real-time “where-am-I” functionality, but I am close to solving that final puzzle.

 

The ASCSA’s journal, Hesperia, has had its backfile on the ASCSA website as Open Access content for about a year. We’ve seen no drop in revenue, and an uptick of usage especially by those people who do not have access to JSTOR while in the field. The journal is at a crossroads, too, and the only thing keeping it from going e-only (with an option for readers who want print to order copies as print-on-demand) is the fact that most of our international exchange partners still require print copies for their libraries and cannot handle (or do not want) PDF issues and/or access to JSTOR for whatever reason. To continue these exchange partnerships, we have to continue producing short print-runs (under 500 copies), which is expensive in such small numbers. Printing more copies does not cost appreciably more because of economies of scale. I am left wondering when many of our international exchange partners will turn the corner and begin to accept the digital edition of our journal as opposed to requiring print. How can I best serve their readers until that happens, and is there a more efficient way to deliver print to those universities who still need/want it?

Outside of the ASCSA, I continue to be involved with a number of archaeological projects. This is where the “without borders” moniker kicks in. I’m currently wrapping up the editing of the Punk Archaeology book created from the Punk Archaeology unconference held in a bar in Fargo on Feb. 2, 2013, where there was spoken word (listen here), and punk rock (listen here) on topics ranging from what Punk Archaeology is to the archaeology of punk in the Red River Valley. The brainchild of Bill Caraher with Kostis Kourelis, Aaron Barth, Richard Rothaus, and others, this one-night stand of public archaeology resonated with both academics and locals, getting our science out of the Ivory Tower and into a drinking establishment (where many of us know the best discussions happen). The Punk Archaeology book will be published later in 2013 by the University of North Dakota, and it will be awesome.

I also launched a blog that explores the archaeology in (and of) video games. Read Archaeogaming here (and contribute!), and follow along on Twitter @archaeogaming.

completedartifacts

 

(World of Warcraft screenshot from Archaeogaming)

Lastly, I had the good fortune to be a member of the Adventure Science team that explored and documented the state of the wilderness as part of the North Dakota Badlands Transect, aka “100 Miles of Wild“. We’re pulling together the white paper now, and will follow up with a website and at least two books about what we found out there, including archaeology, ecology, geology, and more.

I’m proud to be a punk archaeologist without borders. If you’re looking for a (largely free) hired gun to help liberate data, to put boots on the ground in areas of conflict, or to put your data on the path of progressive publication, I’m your man. Email me at areinhard@ascsa.org, and let’s explore, build, and publish.

Andrew Reinhard

 

Archaeological Publication and Linked Data

Earlier this month I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the first Linked Ancient World Data Institute (LAWDI or #lawdi on Twitter) at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) in New York City, the brainchild of Sebastian Heath, Tom Elliott, and John Muccigrosso. I presented on the current state of archaeological publishing of my organization, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). The best part about the conference, though, was listening to new friends and colleagues speak about the many aspects of linked data, open source, and open access the archaeology of the Ancient World. As the ASCSA’s Director of Publications, I am beginning to put into practice what was discussed at LAWDI, and look forward to continuing to contribute.

Here’s what’s been done so far:

1. Open Access Hesperia. Our journal, Hesperia, is currently housed on JSTOR. We have a Content Sharing Agreement with JSTOR, however, which allows us to share our content from beyond the 3-year moving wall. This means that in July 2012 individual readers who need to search for and download any/all Hesperia articles published from 1932-2009 will be able to do so from the ASCSA’s website for free. The PDF articles can be read on any device that can open PDFs, and they can be used without Internet access post-download. There is no DRM. I alpha-tested the behind-the-scenes upload utility yesterday with reasonable success. I need to do a batch name-change on the PDFs and then load those onto our webserver (the test links currently point to JSTOR, but this will change in July). It is my hope that I can find just over $1M with which I can endow the journal at which point I can make open access to it complete and eternal.

2. Open Bibliography on Zotero. After the LAWDI meetings, I returned to Princeton to map out what I could begin to do with the concept of linking content for the ancient world. I had briefly used Zotero to read articles posted by Tom Elliott on Twitter, but I’d never gotten into the platform as a contributor of content. Since then, I have created a Zotero group for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in which I have now shared publicly the enter bibliography of 1,500+ Hesperia articles and about 150 (or 230+) monographs. I need to go through (and encourage others to help with this) and edit the book entries and add abstracts to earlier Hesperia articles. This will take time, but it’s a good start.

3. Linking in eBooks. June saw the publication of our latest printed monograph, Isthmia: The Roman and Byzantine Graves and Human Remains (Isthmia IX), by Joseph L. Rife. I spent yesterday and will spend today creating links in the PDF eBook. My previous attempts at linking were restricted to links between text, note, table, and image. I have done this in Isthmia IX, tedium made bearable through listening to hardcore punk, gangsta rap, and the Euro 2012 match between Germany and Italy. This is only the first step. The next is to attempt to create dynamic, outward-looking links from every bibliographic citation and every footnote to actual articles and books on the Internet. This could be insane and/or impossible, but I’m going to try. I am also going to attempt to link each inventoried object as presented on the ASCSA’s open access website for archaeological data, ascsa.net. Lastly, I’m going to try to link from places mentioned in Rife’s book to records in Pleiades. Wish me luck.

The above is what I’m doing now and in July, and I’m looking forward to sharing/linking with other archaeologists worldwide on these and future projects.

Andrew Reinhard, Director of Publications, ASCSA

Archaeological Publishing

I’m an archaeologist, and I’m also a publisher. Many of my colleagues in the Publications Office of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA, founded in 1881) in Princeton, New Jersey, were archaeologists first, and edit, proofread, typeset, and manage the creation and production of our quarterly journal, Hesperia, as well as a wide variety of books. We work in the field when we can, but our primary job is to publish the work of the School: excavation reports and monographs of the Athenian Agora, of Corinth, and of affiliated excavations, as well as the publication of the work of our friends in the Gennadius Library, the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory, and the Archives, plus the research of scholars working within the broad field of Greek archaeology of all periods. The ASCSA is charged by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism with primary responsibility for all American archaeological research, and seeks to support the investigation, preservation, and presentation of Greece’s cultural heritage. ASCSA’s publications satisfy the last part of our mission.

The week leading up to the Day of Archaeology has been an extraordinary one for us in Publications. We just received our advance copies of Histories of Peirene: A Corinthian Fountain in Three Millennia, by Betsey A. Robinson (Vanderbilt University). The creation of this interdisciplinary volume utilized, for the first time at the ASCSA, a dedicated project wiki, and favored the digital exchange of files and comments outside of email. Communication between project team members in several U.S. and in Greece was both constant and transparent making for quick turnaround. We used Google Sites for the wiki which was the project’s hub at host for files, Skype for voice/video communication, Adobe Creative Suite 5 for design. We also assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) for the first time within an ASCSA book so that readers could view large, high-resolution plans online. Post-production, we’re using (also for the first time) Facebook and Twitter in conjunction with print media to promote and market the book, and are putting review copies into the hands of traditional reviewers like the Bryn Mawr Classical Review as well as into the in-boxes (and Dropboxes) of archaeologists in the blogosphere. Archaeological publication has to include ways of letting the world know new research has been published.

Other books in production for 2011 include volumes on Greek manuscripts, Bronze Age Tsoungiza, Sikyon, Athenian pottey, Byzantine graves and human remains at Isthmia, dedicatory monument inscriptions from the Athenian Agora, and a collection of articles on houses and households in ancient Crete. We split the editorial and proofreading duties between our full-time staff of editors and freelancers who have been trained in the ASCSA’s house style (modified Chicago style) as well as in archaeology and Classics.

Hesperia, the journal of the ASCSA, has recently undergone some changes to make it more contemporary, useful, and accessible to archaeologists and other scholars worldwide. On August 1st, the journal’s full run (80 volumes from 1932 until now), becomes available on JSTOR’s Current Scholarship Program. All issues of the journal have never been online in a single location before, so now readers can browse across all articles from the past 80 years.

With Hesperia appearing both in print and online, we wanted to be able to begin to take advantage of the Internet in allowing us to host digital editions of issues that contain full-color images, something that is prohibitively expensive to print. For issue 80.2 which will be released on August 1st, we’re including a free, LH IIA2 pottery catalogue from Tsoungiza both as a PDF file, but also as an HTML webpage for improved usability. For some archaeological publication of data, we need to think beyond what can be printed, and consider other ways of presenting archaeological data for the use of other scholars and researchers. We hope to host everything from color images to 3D reconstructions to entire data sets. The full-color article and online supplemental material are first-steps in that direction.

We are also venturing into open-access content for Hesperia, and have begun to post articles for free on our website. We expect this section to grow considerably over time.

Lest people think that archaeological publishing consists of musty-dusty tomes, we are currently embarking on a program of eBook creation, providing both print and digital editions of new titles to our readers, ultimately digging into our back-list to make older books available digitally, too, in a format that can be both searched and annotated and are not merely page-scans saved as PDFs.

Ultimately we hope to produce apps that will merge archaeological texts with multimedia, GPS functionality, data, and more, providing a reader full context. As all archaeologists know, context is key.

On July 29th, the Day of Archaeology, I will be meeting with editors and archaeologists both in person and via Skype as we plan a new way to manage our publishing projects with less paper, more speed, and better communication. We’ll also be reviewing the f&gs (folded & gathered sheets) for the print edition of Hesperia 80.2 prior to approving the issue for binding. I’ll assist our designer with typesetting our monograph on Greek manuscripts. I’ll be emailing several of our authors who are currently in the field in Greece and in Turkey about the status of their books and articles. I’ll look at a lot of digital images of pots. And I’ll probably take a break to go through the Publications archives to catalogue some correspondence from the 1930s and 1940s, finding delight in hand-written notes and typescript pages marked in pencil.

I was an archaeologist before I became a publisher. I excavated at Isthmia (Greece) and Poggio Civitate (Italy). I earned my MA in art history and archaeology at the University of Missouri – Columbia, and my BA in archaeology (double-major with writing) from the University of Evansville. I’m tickled that I am publishing an article by my undergraduate adviser this week. And I am honored to be publishing Agora “blue books”, Corinth “red books” as well as Hesperia (and Hesperia supplements), series that I used extensively during my student years. I love being a publisher, and I love publishing the work of my peers and of my heroes.