Hand Crafted, Microbrewed, Mobile, and Field Friendly Database Solutions– Tyler Wilson

Happy Day of Archaeology! Take a moment today and think about the imprint you will leave in the ground when you’re gone! As a trained osteologist and physical anthropologist, I am familiar with bones, graves, and the grave goods our loved ones leave for us when we’re departed. I have participated in many traditional digs because, as archaeologists, we all love to uncover the past.

However, my current work with the Center for Digital Archaeology (CoDA) at UC Berkeley is anything but traditional. As Informatics Specialist I work with our CTO and Founder Michael Ashley to develop hand crafted, microbrewed, mobile, and field friendly database solutions to harmonize and collect all archaeological data directly from the dig site. This is done through our remarkable Codifi database, a mobile database solution run on iOS and Windows and implemented on iPads in the field. We have deployed our Codifi solution at many sites around the world, and I feel strongly that I am contributing not only to the growth of the field of archaeology but also making archaeologists’ work easier and more intuitive.

The work I do now is primarily about content and media. Storing, managing, adding and preserving metadata, relating, and presenting to a user. Archaeologists love content, as we should, our work is dedicated to its discovery and understanding. I’m glad that the work I do is enabling archaeologists to more easily create, manage, and relate their content as they find it. I enjoy being connected to digs in Turkey, Jordan, and throughout the Middle East, and empowering not only the data collecting process, but also the knowledge gathered from it to inform cultural heritage.

An example of one of these fantastic projects:


Last House on the Hill (LHOTH) brings together incredibly rich digital media with all of the archaeological data to company the 600+ page physical monograph into a single, but multi-vocal accounting of the UC Berkeley excavations at Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Explorers of LHOTH will find they can easily traverse what would otherwise be an unwieldy amount of content. Ruth Tringham, the project director and the Creative Director@CoDA, has poured thousands and thousands of hours into LHOTH, finding deep satisfaction in bringing this remarkable resource to life.