London Archaeological Archive & Research Centre

Day of Archaeology 2013 – LAARC Lottery! (Intro)

LAARC Archive stores

The London Archaeological Archive & Research Centre is the WORLD’s largest archaeological archive.

We’re pretty big.

Millions of artefacts big.

So how to choose what to share for the Day of Archaeology? Let’s play a little game.

Following on from the fun we had last year, we’ve brought back our interactive LAARC Lottery. We have five major areas of the Archive to explore: General finds, Registered finds, Metal, Paper Records and Environmental.

Each hour from 12 until 5 today we will be exploring some of our archaeological finds interactively and completely randomly. But we need your help. Here’s what to do.

  1. We’ll give you a range of numbers
  2. You tweet us a random number from within that range
  3. We head to the archive shelf that has the matching number
  4. We show you what sits on that shelf

Simple.

First up we’re exploring our General finds: artefacts that are normally treated as an assemblage – pottery, animal bone, building material etc. – and which make up the bread and butter of London’s archaeological material. We have 6210 shelves of general finds in the archive, so what we would like you to do is suggest a shelf number between 1 and 6738, either by Twitter using the hashtags #dayofarch #LAARC or #LAARCLottery, or by leaving a comment below, which we will then go to, photograph and blog about the objects we find there.

So get tweeting / commenting!

Communicating Archaeology

I was reminded by the blustery wet south-easterly tail wind on my cycle to work this morning that summer has yet to arrive to this part of the world. However, as an Archaeological Information Systems Manager for English Heritage based down in Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth, I’m mostly office based so the weather is only an issue when I venture out to get a cup of coffee.

It has finally become apparent to me that communication is one of my main focuses. I am always asked what period or location I specialise in, the truth is I don’t take this approach to archaeology. My passion is for archaeology and archaeologists, how we communicate with each other and how we communicate with the public (who’s support we depend to continue doing what we do).

So back to my day…

After arriving in my office and making a cup of coffee I turned my attention to finalising a paper I’ve been writing called ‘Can you hack (the) communication?’ I gave a presentation on this at CAA in Southampton (http://caaconference.org/) (it’s a computers and archaeology conference) back in March. This paper looks at how we as archaeologists capture digital information in the field and particular my perspective on the experience of implementing a digital recording system for archaeological excavation called Intrasis to our teams. We’ve used the system now on our last few projects.

Simple location plan with trenches to south of road and Silbury Hill to the north

This is a screenshot of a map of the excavations of the Roman Settlement across the road from Silbury Hill.

As main ringleader of social media at the fort, I started receiving my colleagues’ posts for Day of Archaeology by mid-morning. That I know of two others are participating, one from our zooarchaeologists and another from @nicola_hembrey, our finds archaeologists.

Through out the day, like most days I’m keeping an eye on my Twitter feed for good content and information @hscorley. I also am keeping an eye on the @EHArchaeology twitter account which I am primary curator. This account has been active for about 3 years now and I’m amazed how popular it has become.

Looking at Twitter today, it is of course, abuzz with Day of Archaeology content. Particular praise is due to London Archaeological Archive & Research Centre (LAARC)  for the LAARC Lottery. If only I had thought if it myself. You pick a number for a shelf, they then go and find what’s on that shelf and blog about it. I like this for several reasons, not only is it interactive and raises awareness about their archive but it also means no one has to think to hard about what to write about, it’s all there just waiting to written about.

As my day wraps up I’m going to prepare to face the elements again, the wind does not appear to have shifted and despite a bit of sunlight earlier it looks like it might rain.

Hugh Corley

@hscorley

Day of Archaeology – LAARC Lottery!

LAARC Archive stores

The LAARC archive stores, holding over 2 million objects, and the venue for LAARC lottery!

The London Archaeological Archive & Research Centre (LAARC) – the world’s largest archaeological archive – holds the records for over 8,500 London archaeological sites and millions of excavated objects (especially if we count every ceramic sherd)!

As part of the day of archaeology the LAARC is getting interactive with a little game we like to call ‘LAARC Lottery’.

We have five major areas of the Archive to explore: General finds, Registered finds, Metal, Textile and Environmental.

Each hour from 12 until 5 today we will be exploring some of our archaeological finds interactively and completely randomly, and we will be asking for suggestions from you as to what we look at.

First up we’re exploring our General finds: artefacts that are normally treated as an assemblage – pottery, animal bone, building material etc. – and which make up the bread and butter of London’s archaeological material. We have 6210 shelves of general finds in the archive, so what we would like you to do is suggest a shelf number between 1 and 6210, either by Twitter using the hashtags #dayofarch and #LAARC, or by leaving a comment below, which we will then go to, photograph and blog about the objects we find there.