Zoë Devlin, Acting Editor

Cite this as: Devlin, Z. 2010 Editorial, Internet Archaeology 27.

Since being left to my own devices by Judith Winters, who is away on maternity leave, I have had plenty of time to engage with the diverse range of research collected in this issue of Internet Archaeology. I am pleased to be here as Acting Editor at a time when the content of Internet Archaeology is beginning to be made available free of charge to a wider readership through Open Access. This issue includes two Open Access articles whose publication was funded by subventions: 'Excavations in Heslerton: DigIT approaches to Digital Recording' by Dominic Powlesland and Keith May, and 'Land Use and the Agrarian Economy in the Roman Dutch River Area' by Maaike Groot and Laura I. Kooistra.

The article by Powlesland and May presents the results of excavations at Heslerton Parish Project Site 28, which sought to clarify the nature of features identified through a major geophysical survey of the area. The excavation also aimed to assess the use of digital developments within archaeology, including PALM-based recording, digital imaging and surveying, a daily updated excavation web-site, and Real Time Kinematic GPS. The article draws a number of conclusions on the nature of settlement within the Vale of Pickering and on the potential of digital data collection in the field.

Groot and Kooistra's article utilises an interactive map of the micro-region of Tiel-Passewaaij as the basis for a reconstruction of the agricultural landscape of a rural community in the Roman frontier zone in the Netherlands. Using a variety of sources, they demonstrate how agricultural practices changed over time and how rural communities contributed to the wider Roman economy. The availability of these two articles free at the point of use is an important step on the way to Open Access. Hopefully, this is an indicator of things to come.

This issue also sees the publication of the first of four Mellon-funded LEAP II project exemplars, Fort, Tower, or House? Building a Landscape of Settlement in the Shala Valley of High Albania by Michael L. Galaty, Wayne E. Lee, Charles Watkinson, Zamir Tafilica and Ols Lafe. This article draws together the results of interdisciplinary research into influences on settlement and social organisation in this region over the last 500 years and includes audio clips and transcriptions of ethnographic interviews and a GIS interface to the survey data, hosted by the Archaeology Data Service. In keeping with Internet Archaeology's current policy on the transition to Open Access, this article is available free at the point of use to colleagues in Albania.

While the Shala Valley article draws upon the experiences of current inhabitants, the final two articles in this issue attempt to recreate experiences of the past using digital modelling techniques. Simon R. Davies' article Digital Avebury: New 'Avenues' of Research uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) and a Virtual Reality (VR) system to recreate a journey across the Avebury landscape. This article demonstrates the potential of such systems as tools of interpretation within archaeology rather than just illustration.

Hannah Friedman's article, Imperial Industry and Observational Control in the Faynan Region, Southern Jordan utilises viewsheds created using GIS to examine questions relating to surveillance and control of slave populations in the state-owned copper industry of the Roman and Byzantine periods. In doing so, she explores the methodology and robustness of viewshed analysis, as well as drawing upon comparative studies on American slave plantations.

This has been an interesting collection of articles to work on and I look forward to the next batch!

Back to Issue 27


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