Archaeological data

The steps mentioned below describe how to enter archaeological data into OpenAtlas. The following elements are involved in the procedure:

  • Place: the archaeological site itself (Level 1)
  • Feature: a subunit of the place, e.g. graves, buildings, and pits. A place can consist of multiple subunits (Level 2)
  • Stratigraphic unit: a subunit of the feature, e.g. burial. A feature can consist of multiple subunits (Level 3)
  • Artifact: an archaeological artifact, e.g. coin or knife (Level 4)
  • Human remains: subunits of a burial, e.g. bones and teeth that carry anthropological information (Level 4)
  • Type: used for classification, can be extended by users
  • Reference: citation, e.g. book or article written a bout the site or any of the subunits
  • File: an image or other file concerning the site or any of its subunits
../_images/sub_unit.jpg

Adding a new place

In order to store new archaeological information in the database, the first necessary step is to create a new Place. In the OpenAtlas database a place is a physical thing that has a certain position and or extend in space that can be connected to various other information (temporal, spatial, events, sources etc.).

  • Click on Place in the Menu and create a new entry by using the + Place button
  • State the site’s name
  • Select an appropriate Type from the list, e.g. Burial Site or Settlement
  • Use the magnifier button on the map to add the site to the map as well as a GeoNames reference if desired
  • Add further information, e.g. evidence, an alias, a date or a description if available
  • Press Insert to save the entry
  • To add a citation click the Reference tab
  • If you want to add an image e.g. a plot or photo of the site use the File tab

Adding a feature to the site

Next, a Feature connected to the Place will be created. This feature can be a grave of a graveyard, a building of a settlement, etc.

  • Click on the Feature Tab and create a new entry by using the + Feature button
  • Choose a descriptive name
  • Select an appropriate Type from the list
  • Add further information, e.g. dimensions or a description
  • Press Insert and add stratigraphic unit to save the entry and go on with the workflow

If you want to link the created feature to a different citation or add an image you can use Insert and add those information or go back later and do it then. In this case you would have to click the Stratigraphic unit Tab and the + Stratigraphic unit button to go on with the workflow.

Adding a stratigraphic unit to the feature

Every Feature can consist of one or more Stratigraphic unit. For a grave this would be the burial or a burial and the backfilling.

  • By clicking Insert and add stratigraphic unit in the before mentioned step, you can directly enter a stratigraphic unit connected to the created feature
  • Choose a descriptive name
  • Select an appropriate Type from the list, e.g. burial or interface
  • Add additional information on the stratigraphic unit if available
  • Press Insert and add artifact or Insert an add human remains to go on with the workflow

Adding an artifact to the stratigraphic unit

The following steps add a Artifact to the before created Stratigraphic unit. You can now add grave goods to a burial or artifacts to a certain layer of the feature.

  • By clicking Insert and add artifact in the before mentioned step, you can directly connect an artifact to the newly created stratigraphic unit
  • Choose a descriptive name
  • Select an appropriate Type from the list, e.g. pottery or a finger ring
  • Add additional information if available
  • Press Insert to save the entry
  • Add a file if desired by using the File tab

You can also enter an artifact by going to the stratigraphic unit you want to link the artifact to. Click the Artifact tab and + Artifact afterwards.

Adding human remains to the stratigraphic unit

Anthropological data can be entered into OpenAtlas by adding Human remains. You can do so by connecting a certain bone to a Stratigraphic unit and add all the relevant information, e.g. pathological changes, measurements, discoloration, or additional information. Please note that additional information can be entered via custom types in the stratigraphic unit entry mask, e.g. biological sex, gender, and age of an individual.

  • By clicking Insert and add human remains in the before mentioned creation of a stratigraphic unit, you can directly connect human remains to it
  • Choose a descriptive name
  • Select an appropriate Type from the list, e.g. femur or canine
  • Add additional information if available
  • Press Insert to save the entry
  • Add a file if desired by using the File tab

You can also enter Human remains by going to the stratigraphic unit you want to link the information to. Click the Human remains tab and + Human remains button afterwards.