West Heslerton: WEB-CD
The application of HTML and WEB Tools for creating a distibuted excavation archive in the form of a WEB-CD

Dominic Powlesland, Heather Clemence and James Lyall

Heslerton Parish Project, Old Bridge Barn, Yedingham, N. Yorkshire, UK.

Cite this as: D. Powlesland et al. 1998 'West Heslerton: WEB-CD. The application of HTML and WEB Tools for creating a distibuted excavation archive in the form of a WEB-CD', Internet Archaeology 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.5.2

Summary

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1. Background to the project

The excavation between 1986 and 1995 of a complete Early and Middle-Saxon settlement at West Heslerton, North Yorkshire, England, by The Landscape Research Centre on behalf of English Heritage (Archaeology Commissions Programme) remains one of the largest excavation programmes undertaken in Britain. This excavation, following on from the excavation of an associated cemetery situated only 350m to the north-east of the settlement, forms part of a broader project in landscape archaeology. The Heslerton Parish Project was designed to examine the evolution of the human landscape on the southern margins of the Vale of Pickering from the Mesolithic to the present day.

The excavation covered an area in excess of 20ha, examined using open area techniques. The project has been the testing ground for a number of innovative techniques, particularly in the area of applied archaeological computing. These innovations included the use of hand-held computers for field recording (introduced in 1984) and the individual recording of all the finds, the location of each being recorded in 3D using initially an Electronic Distance Meter (EDM) and later a Total Station. These approaches to data collection were supported with the addition of digital 3D site plans, often digitised in the field, and the application of high-resolution magnetometry as an aid to excavation.

The data set includes:

The examination, analysis and interpretation of this large data set as part of the post-excavation and reporting process combined with the need to distribute as much data as possible to the many contributing specialists pose a number of challenging problems. These are exacerbated by the large scale of the excavation and consequently the size of the data sets. This is a challenge in the best possible sense.

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