Monday, July 19, 2010

NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences

The Caracol LIDAR Project (SAS Blog Post on May12, 2010) has recently been reported at professional conferences and news articles like this one from the New York Times. This project has highlighted the application of new technologies to archaeology. In addition, the success of the Caracol program has also widened awareness of the NASA Space Archaeology program which has the scientific objective to use the vantage point of space to improve our understanding of past human settlement patterns.

The NASA Space Archaeology program solicits proposals that incorporate the use of remote sensing data for the exploration of regional landscape analysis and modeling of human and enivronmental interactions as well as the protection and preservation of cultural heritage sites and sustainable development of cultural resources.

A newly awarded NASA grant, Climate Change and Human Impact on Ancient and Modern Settlements: Identification and Condition Assessment of Archaeologucal Sites in the Northern Levant from Landsat, ASTER and CORONA Imagery utilizes existing satellite imagery from the last thirty years. In full disclosure, this award has gone to my colleagues located just down the hall at The Geo-Archaeological Information Applications (GAIA) Lab, at the Archaeological Research Institute, in the School of Human Evolution & Culture Change at Arizona State University.

The initial pilot study and grant proposal are available online (link above) and outlines the goals of the project. In addition to exploring archaeological questions of urban collapse, this project seeks to identify areas of potential damage to existing cultural heritage materials in the Levant region of the Middle East. For archaeologists, the refinement and development of techniques to make use of Lansat TM, ASTER and CORONA imagery is beneficial. The corrected images and newly acquired site information will be made available on the Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land for public and professional use.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Archaeological Sciences Education Down Under

The Australian National University in Canberra recently started a Masters of Archaeological Science Program. The program includes several themes, including Environmental Archaeology, Archaeological Site Science, and Archaeology, Climate Change and Natural Hazards, among others. The program philosophy touches on some interesting ideas, including how archaeological science can shape policy and shape landscapes.

Just recently the first graduate of the program was awarded his degree. I hope that we can see development of more archaeological science programs and departments here in Australia and around the world.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Call for Papers, Australian Archaeological Association Conference 2010


The Australian National University is pleased to be hosting the 2010 Australian Archaeological Association conference.

We would now welcome proposals for individual papers in line with our conference sessions. A full list of these sessions can be viewed at:

Please contact the appropriate session organiser/s before 1 October to submit your abstract.