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Humanities Prof Publishes Extensive Archaeoogy Database

Bradley J. ParkerUniversity of Utah History and archaeology professor Bradley J. Parker is publishing an on-line database that is not only the first of its kind but may chart a new path for publication in archaeology. The Utarp Information System, or UIS, is a searchable on-line database that contains all of the records from more than a decade of excavation conducted by members of the Upper Tigris Archaeological Research Project (UTARP) at the site of Kenan Tepe in southeastern Turkey. Date: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

Archaeological excavation produces huge amounts of data. In spite of this, using traditional methods of publication, on average less than 1% of excavated data is ever published. Upper Tigris Archaeological Research Project `s excavations at Kenan Tepe ( are the first time an archaeological excavation was planned, executed and completed with the intent of publishing a comprehensive corpus of all of the excavation records and analyses in digital format. Working with Peter Cobb, who was at the time a graduate student in the University of Utah's Computer Science Department, Professor Bradley Parker (University of Utah, Department of History) designed a computer system that would allow members of the Upper Tigris Archaeological Research Project (UTARP) to digitize their data as they were excavated. Later, specialists analyzing finds or other data sets also added their analyses to the system. The UIS database thus contains all excavation records including descriptions and measurements of excavated contexts, daily journals, field photographs and daily trench plans as well as drawings, photographs, descriptions and analyses of various categories of finds including ceramics, animal bones, human bones, botanical remains, lithics and micro debris. Several paper monographs offering a synthesis of these data will be published by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA in coming years.

The first installment of the Utarp Information System (UIS) can be accessed at the Alexandria Archive's Open Context website at (the rest of the excavation records will follow shortly):

Last Updated: 6/1/21