HANDLING ARCHEOLOGICAL DATA: HANDOUTS FOR DIVERSE COMPUTER-RELATED TASKS


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In this page you will find a first set of handouts that I have prepared for the use of students in courses of computer applications in archaeology:

TUTORIAL: BUILDING A DATABASE IN CONDOR (July 1999)

TUTORIAL: STATISTICS IN SYSTAT 5.0 (July 1999)

HELP RESOURCE: HANDLING TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS: FROM SURFER TO AUTOCAD (November 1999)

HELP RESOURCE: DRAWING SHERDS IN AUTOCAD (or Digitizing pencil drawings into Autocad): Drawing sherds (profiles and vessel shape reconstruction; or Drawing vessels.

Links to AUTOCAD tutorials

COMMENTS

A special feature of two of the tutorials, for the database CONDOR and the statistical package SYSTAT, is that they are for DOS-based versions of the programs. The "Help resources" are not a tutorial per se)  they relates to the topographic software SURFER and the computer drawing software AUTOCAD version 13, two windows based programs. Using these "Help resources" need a basic knowledge of Surfer and Autocad, and how to use a digitizing tablet with Autocad.

I have used DOS-based software because the use of commands for preparing database forms, producing queries or to obtain exploratory data for patterns observation or probability values, is essential for a basic understanding of the methods and principles involved in the exploration of archaeological data (and, of course, for understanding the syntaxis principles that a computer requires for producing an adequate ouput). Moreover if students are new to computers (as happened to be the case in Eritrea).

The commands used in Autocad 13 are the same as they were in the DOS-based 10 version (there are of course more commands in more recent versions). SYSTAT has produced a Windows version of the statistical package (version 6.0), where the same old commands can also be used in the main screen (with minor changes). SURFER upgraded to Windows but using the same drop-dwon menus on the upper bar. Only CONDOR has not produced a Windows version; today, other Windows-based databases are more popular.

On the practical side, DOS-based programs are small, and easy to use in any environment. Today, students start learning about databases with complex programs as MS-ACCESS would miss on the simplicity of using a DOS-based database. On the other hand, while the latter database is capable of producing data to be exported, say to SYSTAT to do more complex statistical analysis, it is not a relational database (that is a type of database management system (DBMS) that stores data in the form of related tables; where a single database can be viewed in many different ways, or can be spread across several tables). In Condor each database is self-contained in a single table or form. Relational databases are important for linking data from different forms (in an archaeological case several forms for site, artifacts, stratigraphy will be linked by common identifiers like strata, unit, or level.)

 

LINKS TO AUTOCAD TUTORIALS

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY, Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, Graphic Communications Program, by Alice Scales, M.Ed. : Autocad 14 Tutorial (six sessions) (1998-01). Removed from NCSU server.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES, by Stephen Peter, Tutorials for Autocad R13 (1995-1999): Tutorial 1, Tutorial 2, Tutorial 3, and Tutorial 4.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES, by Jim Plume, Tutorial for Autocad R12, Autocad R13, Autocad R14, and Autocad R2000.


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1998-01, Alvaro Higueras. Please send comments to .
URL of this page: http://www.tiwanakuarcheo.net/4_handouts/handoutsindex.htm
Revised: February 28 2000