The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a DCMS funded project
to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by
members of the public in England and Wales. Every year many thousands
of objects are discovered, many of these by metal-detector users, but
also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily
The primary focus of the project is notice and comment on open access material relating to the ancient world, but I will also include other kinds of networked information as it comes available.
The ancient world is conceived here as it is at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, my academic home at the time AWOL was launched. That is, from the Pillars of Hercules to the Pacific, from the beginnings of human habitation to the late antique / early Islamic period.
AWOL is the successor to Abzu, a guide to networked open access data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East and the Ancient Mediterranean world, founded at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago in 1994. Together they represent the longest sustained effort to map the development of open digital scholarship in any discipline.