5. The Future of SASSA

Securing the future of SASSA beyond the end of the project has been a serious concern for the project team. The dynamic and 'unofficial' nature of its content could present technical and political problems if the system was to be handed over to the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) or a public body such as English Heritage. In light of the nature of this knowledge transfer project, NERC have agreed to allow a small amount of funds to be set aside for the maintenance and minor technical development of SASSA. This will secure the future of SASSA for the next 5-10 years.

The SASSA server will be housed and maintained at Stirling University by the development team. However, the support that will be offered after the end of the project is intended to be minimal (wiki software updates, registration of users and policing of content, hardware glitches, and minor technical developments). Beyond the end of the project it is the wider geoarchaeological and archaeological community who will shape the future of SASSA.

The internationalisation of SASSA is a key area for future growth. The wiki structure of the knowledge base freely supports alternative language versions, while the editor function for the field tool allows users to translate the soil description and interpretation tools into their own language.

The structure of the SASSA system is suited to a range of different applications both in archaeology (for example plant macro and pollen identification and analysis; borehole logging) as well as in other disciplines. A generic software configuration and the incorporation of the editor tool allow the development of recording systems and decision support tools for any purpose. This flexibility, combined with the mobility of the system, has generated interest from a number of different fields and plans are already being developed for the next generation of SASSA.


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Last updated: Mon Dec 15 2008