e-Science Methods (Archaeology)

The final reference in this paper is a relatively new focus for the arts and humanities, namely the use of grid computing and e-science related methods, themes which have particular relevance for subject areas that potentially deal with very high volumes of data. The resources required for rendering sophisticated visualizations of past environments would certainly benefit from the sort of aggregated computational power that the grid computing model is designed to deliver, particularly in association with the types of dedicated high speed bandwidth that this methodology aims to employ.

The nature of archaeological fieldwork and the problems inherent with linking researchers on the ground with centralised data repositories represent interesting challenges that might be tackled in the context of the development of virtual research environments (VRE). The Silchester Roman Town excavation, and the Integrated Archaeological Database (IADB) that was developed in the course of this project, was an attempt to look into problems of exactly this nature and will provide extremely useful reference material for further research into the problems of data accessibility and exchange. Information about this project and other e-science initiatives relating both to archaeology and the arts and humanities more generally can be found on the website of the Arts and Humanities e-Science Support Centre (http://www.ahessc.ac.uk).

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