Event Details

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Archaeological Database Creation and Management Basics [Deeper Digs]

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Archaeological Database Creation and Management Basics [Deeper Digs]

When: November 07, 2023 3:00-5:00 PM ET

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members

Alanna Ossa, PhD, RPA, SUNY Oswego, Department of Anthropology

Dr. Ossa has over 22 years of experience in archaeology including 11 years in a Cultural Resource Management setting. Before joining SUNY Oswego as tenure-track faculty, she worked for ACS (Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd.), the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Comparative Archaeology, the Department of Anthropology at Arizona State University, the Office of Cultural Resource Management at Arizona State University, and the Cultural Resource Management Program at the Gila River Indian Community. To date, she continues to do consulting work through Logan Simpson Design for the Gila River Indian Community. From 2001 to 2008, she worked as an archaeological database consultant for the Cultural Resource Management Program at the Gila River Indian Community. Prior to that, she taught an intensive course in SQL (Structured Query Language) to IT professionals. For the purposes of the course, she wrote a brief SQL Tutorial and introduction. As ACS’ Senior Ceramic Analyst, and lab manager prior to joining the faculty at SUNY Oswego, she analyzed ceramic materials and wrote the reports on ceramic materials from testing, data recovery, and monitoring projects, and was responsible for curation from beginning to end. She has experience with collections from central Arizona, central New Mexico, the Northeast (Iroquois), and several locations in Mexico including the Gulf coast (Veracruz), central Highlands, and the West coast.
This class is designed for both beginners and experienced users of archaeological data or collections focused databases. In this class you will learn how to treat your database creation as a component of research design based on common units in archaeology analysis and collections. You will learn the basic archaeological database and collections database architecture and apply these to relational database design. By the end of the class, you should be able to recognize basic principles of effective database organization and be able to avoid common pitfalls in database organization and curation practice. We will practice and identify guidelines for effective data fields, analysis forms, and practice how to deal with database changes (and analysis changes) using an example database. Participants in this course will be encouraged to come with their own data questions and structures to practice with during the practicum portion.
  1. Describe how database creation is an important component of research design in archaeology
  2. Identify basic archaeological database architecture using common examples from real-life databases
  3. Demonstrate how to apply relational database structures to common archaeological organizational challenges using museum and research project examples
  4. Outline strategies to handle database changes by creating flexible data structures as applied to archaeological data with practical examples