Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme


The Faculty of Archaeology has been one of the main initiators in the development of a digital data archive for Dutch archaeologists. Modern archaeological research results in a substantial amount of digital documents. This digital documentation ranges from simple text documents, through large databases, complex GIS workspaces to huge collections of photos. All these primary data is collected, ordered and used in the analyses. The publications are available in digital format via institutional repositories, but the primary data is not, although these are essential for (future) archaeologists. A digital data archive, like the English Archaeology Data Service, was not available in the Netherlands for a long time.

2002 - 2012
Milco Wansleeben
The central repository of DANS is used by all (commercial and academic) archaeologists in the Netherlands nowadays. EASY contains more than 25 thousand archaeological datasets.

Over the years a number of related projects have been initiated by members of the Digital Archaeology chairgroup. Together with various external partners and funding agencies the expertise, facilities and experience were brought together. A major improvement in the awareness of the necessity and research possibilities of a digital archive has been reached. By building online examples of a durable repository, for publications and archaeological reports as well as for datasets (collection of primary data in various formats and applications), the Dutch archaeologists got acquainted with a new way of knowledge sharing. These pilot projects were so successful that the Dutch archaeological organizations (both educational and commercial units) agreed on an obligation to archive all digital output. The importance of long-term preservation of the digital documentation and the existence of an electronic archive is now widely acknowledged. The State Service for Cultural Heritage (RCE) and the data archive DANS (Data Archiving and Network Service) have confirmed their commitment and joined into a partnership to maintain an electronic archive for Dutch archaeology, which is now firmly embedded within the DANS data archive ( EASY).



Many original field drawings from excavations were scanned, documented, archived and made available to future archaeologists.



Connection with other research

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