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The Mediterranean Archaeological Network

The MedArchNet Vision

Our vision for MedArchNet (The Mediterranean Archaeological Network) is to develop an international network of archaeological sites, from remote prehistory to the early 20th century that provides a model for world cultural heritage research, management, and presentation.  MedArchNet is a virtual organization (VO), which will be built initially in small, incremental steps by incorporating a few thematic nodes and requesting VO members to make modest contributions of data.  This prototype represents a shared vision of what MedArchNet can become--a network of archaeological site data spanning the Mediterranean basin that will empower archaeologists, historians, cultural resource managers and the public with tools to conduct cross-regional studies in ways that have never before been possible, while providing methods for monitoring site conditions and planning for infrastructure development that minimizes adverse effects on archaeological sites.

Our first data node, the Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land, is shown on the map as white rectangles; you can click their borders to open the data nodes.   The MedArchNet Home Page contains more information about the project.  The orange rectangles illustrate proposed atlas nodes.

The MedArchNet VO will support information and data sharing, and provide a collaboration space for researchers, students and the public.  Currently, there is no portal science based cyberinfrastructure for archaeology.  We propose to establish one with an existing community of some 70 current international archaeology projects in the Mediterranean that will significantly change the way researchers examine data, monitor archaeological sites and present educational material to the public.  This project is sponsored by the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the umbrella organization for North American archaeologists working in the Mediterranean and Middle East with projects from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories (2) and over 11 European Union country projects have committed to providing data to MedArchNet.   The Aegean Digital Archeaological Atlas node is sponsored by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture/National Archive of Monuments and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory.

A MedArchNet Prototype

The archaeological sites shown in this Google Maps powered prototype application were derived from the Geographic Place Names Gazettes for the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.  The site locations are not especially accurate, and there is no temporal information associated with them.   The data presented here include the main site name and any alternate names, plus a site type designation.  As the data nodes of MedArchNet are developed, they will be populated with more extensive datasets, including detailed site descriptions, photographs, lists of site components, references, and site condition reports.  An extensive query component is built into every MedArchNet data node, which will allow attribute and spatially-based inquiries, and the creation of dynamic Google Earth .kml files, whose sites are "backlinked" to the site records in the MedArchNet databases.

Using the Prototype

Site points are small magenta dots, which will be shown as you zoom into a cluster.  You can hover the map cursor over the site points, and the site name and type will be displayed.  The larger colored "radar screens" are clusters of sites, and the number in the center tells you how many sites are in the cluster; you can click on a cluster and the map will zoom in and display the site points that make up the cluster, or it will show smaller clusters.  You may have to zoom in several levels to get to site points in an area where they are densely packed.

If you want to use the map in a PowerPoint or word processing document, copy the whole screen (using Print Screen), or a part of it, paste it into a graphics program, then crop it to the map.  This is necessary because there isn't a simple "Copy" function in the Google Maps API, because the map isn't an image; it's an interactive control.

Other Prototype Archaeological Networks

The South Asia Archaeological Network
The Arabian Archaeological Network
The Sub-Sahara Archaeological Network