SITE VISIT: Digging Into Archaeology Online

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Science  04 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5382, pp. 1411
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5382.1411d

Archaeologists spend enough time in the field sifting through dirt and junk to find a few artifacts. So, when it comes to the Web, they welcome help in combing through the detritus. One of the best repositories of archaeological information is ArchNet, a Web directory of everything from virtual tours of digs to software for classifying projectile points.

Nicely designed with a home page in seven languages, the University of Connecticut-hosted ArchNet sorts hundreds of Web sites by subject and geographic region. A brief sampling: Radiocarbon dating labs, a course in Australian archaeology, a list of references on antiquities theft, a space radar image of China's silk road, and even a site at Texas A&M University that posts the latest news stories on anthropology. ArchNet also points to museums, journals and news groups, and more archeo Web directories, including one for Europe. Some sections, like reviews of notable sites, haven't been updated for a while, but ArchNet's Jonathan Lizee explains that the reason is a deluge of e-mails suggesting around 25 new sites a day. He and colleague Tom Plunkett now plan to make the site an automated database, although they'll still check for quality: “We do want to represent the best face of archaeology,” Lizee says. “That's been our goal all along.”

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