CISA3’s Associate Director for Archaeology, UCSD professor Tom Levy, is leading an effort to develop a Digital Archaeology Atlas for the Holy Land (DAAHL). It aims to create a virtual atlas of archaeological sites, artifacts and other information dating from pre-Biblical times to the early 20th century, in what are today Israel, Jordan, southern Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula and Syria. The atlas will be a hightech research device and online gateway. Using the power of spatial information systems such as GIS, tens of thousands of recorded archaeological sites will be catalogued through maps, photographs and even interactive 3D representations of artifacts. The atlas would be made available over the Internet to the public and to researchers in the fi eld, with digital visualization tools that allow them to explore the region’s history through its archaeological record.
The DAAHL project, with Stephen Savage of Arizona State University, brings together more than 30 archaeologists and experts in information technology from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, as well as public and private groups able and willing to contribute to the effort.
Ultimately, CISA3 hopes to develop the Holy Land atlas as the fi rst ‘node’ in a network spanning the entire Mediterranean basin. If successful, the DAAHL could also become a prototype for similar efforts to document and study the archaeological record in other parts of the globe, including India, China, Africa and the Americas. In short, this CISA3 project aims to demonstrate the transformative power of cyberinfrastructure for archaeological and historical studies around the Mediterranean region.
The DAAHL could form the middleware tier of the Holy Land ‘node’ in a wider digital archaeology network for the Mediterranean region.