New Data Sharing Project Focuses on Zooarchaeology of the Levant

Woodcut of Animals of the Holy Land, by Bernhard von Breydenbach, Peregrinatio in terram sanctam (1486)We are happy to announce the kick-off of a large-scale data integration project, provisionally titled The Biometrical Database of Levantine Fauna. This project’s goal is to build up a massive body of openly-available zooarchaeological data from the Levant, with a specific focus on measurement data, in order to facilitate and improve research and instruction worldwide. This project represents a collaboration among many colleagues located across the globe, who recognize the research and teaching potential of access to large databases of related content. Zooarchaeology is particularly amenable to data sharing because practitioners collect large quantities of data in somewhat more “standardized” formats than seen in other archaeological sub-disciplines. The data will be published in Open Context, where it will be available openly for download and reuse, and linked to related content both in Open Context and across the Web. All data contributors will be clearly cited, both for the overall project and for each individual specimen.

This project is open to anyone collecting primary zooarchaeological (or related) data from sites of any period in the Levant and adjacent areas. Its success relies on broad participation from the zooarchaeology community. If this resource sounds exciting to you for your research, please contribute to it! We are currently reaching out to gauge the level of participation. In late spring 2017, we will send details to interested participants of the kind of data we would like you to submit, as well as instructions on how to prepare datasets for publication with Open Context. This will be an ongoing project, so please get in touch with us if you are interested in participating now or in the future! Please contact Justin Lev-Tov (Project Manager) or Sarah Whitcher Kansa (Open Context Editor) for more information.

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