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Mar 16 / hanreitz

Faunal Working Group Update

Katherine Spielmann and Keith Kintigh recently highlighted contributions of the North American Faunal Working Group (FWG) to the development of digital data ontologies and integration tools (metadata) for the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) in the January 2011 issue of SAA Archaeological Record. In tDAR terms, an ontology is a set of contributor-defined hierarchical and collateral relationships among archaeological terms; ontologies tell us how archaeologists rank and relate different observations about archaeological material. The FWG is working toward a set of standard ontologies for the most common observations made by zooarchaeologists. Metadata is a set of information connecting contributor-defined terms to tDAR categories that will allow the data to be searched and cross-referenced. The article, in a special section entitled, “Digital Communication and Collaboration: Perspectives from Zooarchaeology,” provides a pilot study of how tDAR can be used to perform regional archaeological research. The authors encourage SAA and ICAZ members to submit datasets to tDAR so that this type of research can be refined and improved.

SAA members–check out the full article here.