*Please note this page is still under construction
The Digital Horizons Project offers a wide range of digital-based archaeology skills aimed at providing vocational training. We have over a dozen roles, each designed to offer a practical and hands-on experience, where you will work with primary archaeological and archival materials. Roles offer opportunities to work both collaboratively in teams and on an individual basis. Many of these roles have been coordinated with academics and university staff to complement your formal coursework. The roles have also been designed to aid in career development and allow you to develop skills that are valued in a professional setting.
The DHP is currently focussed on preparing legacy data for the Zagora 3 publication. The roles for this project are listed below:
Work with the Heurist database in assessing and organising data in a structured way. Learn to work with online and offline databases, as well as work with a range of archaeological materials developed during the Zagora excavations. These include: excavation reports and field notes, stratigraphic summaries and drawings, site photos, objects diagrams, and object assessments
Our archive teams are the beating heart of our program. They generate the digital data that other teams then work on, while learning all about archival systems, standards, file preservation and quality, and management. We work to international industry standards, informed by protocols and data management plans set by the National Archives of Australia.
Volunteers learn how to scan and convert archival materials into stable digital formats, alongside how to use free software to batch-process the resulting media files and metadata, and, of course, the underlying principles, standards, and ethics that inform data management plans and archival practices. This role gives volunteers experience working with archives and archival software, including handling sensitive material as well as preparing non-sensitive material for the public domain.
We have several teams working to process a range of materials, including: field notebooks; field sketches and section drawings; maps, site plans and architect drawings; artefact catalogue cards; lecture archives; correspondence; research design and project management plans; museum design and curation documents; and publication drafts documenting the interpretive evolution of researchers working to publish archaeological data.
The work of our artefact catalogue team encompasses aspects of the skills and training of our archival team, with further training in data entry. Catalogue volunteers gain an understanding of artefact cataloguing processes and how these can change diachronically or according to different research designs and purposes.
Volunteers learn how to break long-form data – or data of a different structure to the database fields or purposes of our ACP researchers – into its component parts. This work involves learning how to exercise judgement regarding information content and research context, and learning what data belongs in which database record fields.
Volunteers learn the difference between objective observation, interpretation, and subjective descriptions, alongside how typologies and classification systems have evolved, and the utility of transparent documentation of different interpretations or classifications by different researchers or in different research eras.
Learn to convert photo negatives and slides into a digital format using scanning equipment. This role also teaches volunteers the importance of metadata in an archival setting, and instructs the volunteers on how to form a detailed and well structured database for images. Aided by Beatrice McLoughlin.
With the assistance of Kristen Mann, learn to identify architectural features and input that information into a database with the assistance of ArcGIS.
Using ArcGIS, this team aids in mapping the stratigraphic data relating to the Zagora site.
Working with the AAIA Librarian, Yvonne Inall, learn what is involved in managing a large, specialist collection of resources critical to archaeologists and historians researching the Mediterranean.
Learn how to use cataloguing software, as well as how to organise an archival and library system.
With the expert tutelage of Andrew Wilson, volunteers work in the USYD Archaeology Labs to aid in the cataloguing, photography and data input of artefacts and samples collected from excavations at Elizabeth Farm and Regentville. This role offers participants hands-on experience with artefacts as well as detailed knowledge about post-excavation recording and analysis.
Using a drawing pad, volunteers learn how to trace and digitally replicate copies of archaeological drawings and stratigraphic layers. This provides volunteers with experience in digital drawing, as well as how to use various illustration software, and how to input data and information into digital drawings to provide a complex and detailed set of illustrations.
A short-term role that is developed when needed, volunteers aid researchers completing work on the Zagora 3 publication. This can span from aiding in the preparation of sources and case studies, to archival assistance, to aiding in the writing up of academic content. In these roles, volunteers gain an intimate understanding of academic research and what working as a professional researcher entails.
Work with mentor Yvonne Inall to develop your public engagement skills. Learn how to communicate academic research to a public audience via captivating social media posts.
Volunteers are offered opportunities to develop their own mini-research projects, exploring their own areas of interest and learning how to showcase their research skills for a public audience.
With the assistance of Beatrice McLoughlin, aid in the development and coding of the Heurist database. This role is targeted to volunteers with an interest in software development and IT, and offers them a unique insight into the way different archival and UI technologies are being used in the archaeology industry.
Archaeology and Heritage Workshops
As well as skill development opportunities, the Digital Horizons Project prides itself on offering volunteers workshops tailored to the archaeology and heritage industries. With approximately 12 workshops spread across year, each workshop is designed to teach the volunteers a specific skill or software application that is sought after by employers in the archaeology and heritage sectors. Attendance is limited to foster an intimate learning experience, and to allow plenty of time for participants to learn in a hands on way. Many are available are available for both on-site and remote volunteers. Workshops are recorded so that volunteers who are unable to attend can watch in accordance with their own schedule.
We have over 100 volunteers from six universities. Because of this large scale, we take care to develop bonds between volunteers, to form a collegiate atmosphere. This offers a way to thank the volunteers for their outstanding work, and to ensure that they get to meet as many of their peers as possible. We host two social events every semester, including: movie sessions, trivia nights and scavenger hunts in the Chau Chak Wing Museum. We also do our best to ensure that online and on-site volunteers can attend the same events. When this is not practical (such as the museum scavenger hunt) we host separate events so that both cohorts of volunteers get an opportunity to engage with others.