FYOS 0000: Archaeology (Kowalewski)

Web Resources

Assessing web sites requires special care, especially in a field like archaeology with a lot of popular interest.  The following are questions to consider when assessing any resource, even scholarly ones!:

  • Is is authoritative?  (Who is the author, and what are her credentials or affiliations?)
  • Is it accurate? (If you can only find one source that states a fact, this might be a problem...)
  • Is it objective?  (Many sources have an opinion or make an argument - make sure you notice this and think critically about it.)
  • What is the audience?  (A NASA web site for children may have good information, but it's not really appropriate for your research paper. If it's a journal or book, is it scholarly, or popular?)
  • Is it current?  (How important this is may vary by topic - it's vital for medical research, sometimes less so for literature.)

Institutions and Organizations
These sites can be good places to look for list of reputable archaeological field schools, information on local events, and basic practices (like codes of professional behavior and ethics.) Local or regional Natural History museums often have an archaeological component, and there are sometimes statewide organizations for archaeologists, or more specialized (ASOR for Near Eastern archaeology, etc.)

Field Project Websites
This can be a great place to find everything from preliminary reports, to published scholarly works, to photos, to data sets made available to the public.  Beware - some sites are not very up-to-date! Here are a couple of examples from projects I have been a part of:

  • Pylos Regional Archaeological Project (PRAP). Note it's hosted at a University department, and has a copyright of as late as 2010. Gives access to some project databases, but latest publications seem to be a bit behind (only showing 2005).
  • Kythera Island Poject (KIP). Note the last major update is 2003, though there are some publications as late as 2006.

Come in all shapes and sizes.

  • Taygete Atlantis: Excavation Blogs (Antiquity) List (and collected feed) of blogs on "old world" archaeology.
  • Publishing Archaeology Michael E. Smith, about how information about archaeology is disseminated.
  • Dig Megiddo 2010! An example of a blog published by fieldworkers during the field season, exploring their experiences doing archaeology.  Many projects, especially those with undergraduate field workers, have a blog like this.

Open Data/Data Repositories
There is growing interest in developing both permanent, curated repositories for archaeological data sets and interfaces to make this data accessible to all. Major projects include:

Encyclopedic Resources - in Print and Online

Encyclopedias are a good place to start researching a new topic, providing an overview as well as scholarly bibliography. Explore the following:

We also have many encyclopedias for the archaeology of specific regions and cultures. Try searching the UGA Library catalog, GILFind, using keywords like "[culture or region] archaeology encyclopedia".

Scholarly Journal Articles

UGA subscribes to a large number of scholarly journals relevant to the study of Archaeology.  A list (with 208 entries!) can be found by doing a Subject search for Archaeology, Periodicals in the catalog.  Many journals are available both in print and online; it can be fun to browse the print journals in the Current Periodicals area on the 1st floor of the Main Library. They are arranged alphabetically by title.

UGA also subscribes to databases that index (list the citations of) scholarly journal articles, so you can search for a topic.  Try:

  • AnthroLit - Indexes articles in periodicals, monograph series, and edited works in more than 900 archaeology, biological and physical anthropology, cultural and social anthropology and linguistics journals, and selectively in related fields. Use the FindIt@UGA button to locate the electronic or print version of the resources.
  • AnthroSource - Provides online access to American Anthropological Association publications including a complete archive of journals encompassing over 100 years of scholarship. This database also includes past and current issues of 15 of AAA's most important publications. Coverage Dates: Late 19th century to the present.

Further resources are listed on the Galileo page for Anthropology.

Finding Books

GILFind:The catalog of books (and other things) we own at UGA. Do an "all fields" search using keywords when you don't have a specific title in mind.  If a book is checked out, you can 'recall' it using a "Request" link- you will get it in about a week. You can also request books from the Repository, our off-campus storage facility; deliver is usually the following day.

We use library of Congress Subject Headings to classify books by subject. Depending on your area of interest, look at:

GIL Universal Catalog: Books owned by public institutions in Georgia; request through GIL Express and delivery is usually 3-5 days.

Worldcat.org: closest to a "universal catalog". Request books not available in Georgia through Interlibrary Loan.

Google Books: out-of-copyright books (US: before 1923), are available to download as a .pdf.  You can often find "snippets" of books in copyright. See also Hathi Trust.

Government Information on Archaeology

In the United States, federal, state and local governments may be the repositories for information about archaeological sites and their exploration and management.  To find government information about archaeology, try searching:

  • The web site of the State Historic Preservation Office for the site(s) you are interested in.  Many have digitzed reports, online newsletters, and other useful information.  Georgia's is here.  To find another state, Google "[statename] shpo".
  • Usa.gov (searches federal and state government web sites) using keywords such as the site name, archaeological culture name, 'archaeological report' and the location or region, etc.
Other countries' practices on the publication of government-run archaeological projects vary considerably!
Last Update: September 14, 2011 11:02 | Tagged with: anthropology archaeology