Geospatial research in archaeology receives funding boost

Issued: Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:57:00 BST

Building on five years of continuous investment, the National Science Foundation has renewed funding for the Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations (SPARC) program, an initiative through the University of Arkansas, Dartmouth College and the University of Glasgow which acts as a national hub for geospatial research in archaeology.

The $188,545 grant supports the SPARC program, which provides research and technical expertise to archaeological research projects working with a variety of technologies, including 3D survey and modelling, geospatial analysis and visualisation, and geophysical and airborne remote-sensing.

Building on successful collaborative research projects, in 2017-2018 recipients of SPARC awards, together with their collaborators from the SPARC team, published the results of innovative spatial archaeometric work in Geosciences and the Journal of Field Archaeology. The SPARC team also began an initiative to make completed projects' data accessible via publication on Zenodo, an effort that will continue in the coming year. Looking to future work, SPARC is collaborating with the MicroCT Imaging Consortium for Research and Outreach (MICRO) at the University of Arkansas to support projects undertaking high resolution imaging of objects and samples, growing the program’s capacity to support data and analytics projects.

The SPARC program was created by the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies and the Archaeo-Imaging Laboratory with a $250,000 grant from the NSF in 2013. The program offers direct support to archaeological projects through awards in fieldwork, data and analytics, and publication. In addition to collaborating on research projects directly, SPARC helps researchers learn about the latest technologies and their archaeological applications through residencies at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies or through online resources and periodic webinars.