Thursday, November 9, 2023

Stop and Smell…the Material Culture: An Archaeology Data-Centric Slow Observation Guide

On a dark blue banner in white reads "A Digital Data Story". Perpendicular to that in light blue across the top reads "Stop and Smell…the Material Culture: An Archaeology Data-Centric Slow Observation Guide". Below that is the Open Context logo of a blue rhombus with long edge oriented up and down on the left and light blue rhombus in the same orientation to form a book next the the words "Open context". This is above words that say "The Alexandria Archive Institute". In the center is one grey trowel with flowers growing or etched onto it in Dark blue. This is meant to illustrate that this data story focuses on taking the time to mindfully observe a single belonging.

This exercise is best suited to those with an interest in belonging or material culture analysis, archaeological data collection, or using mindful observation skills for archaeology and daily life. Users should have a basic understanding of observation and recording methods, such as handwritten, audio, or video recording, but little previous experience with archaeology or data collection is required.

This page provides access to the resource in two ways. The first is through a series of PDFs that represent the completed Data Story. The PDFs include:

  1. Observation Guide
  2. Optional survey form 
  3. Teaching Guide

Stop and Smell…the Material Culture is a single-exercise Data Story, so the entirety of the necessary text is within the Observation Guide. The text is also available through the Digital Data Stories code repository on Codeberg. These markdown files represent the source material for the text and primary images within the PDFs, minus additional formatting, and with only a general placement of images. The markdown files may be altered and forked from the Codeberg repository for custom use in different contexts. This code represents our commitment to open science and transparency in our process. 

These materials, either through the PDFs or the code, are designed to be used synergistically. However, any piece of this Data Story may be used separately or re-ordered according to the requirements of the individual or to specific educational goals. In addition, this Data Story references Gabbing about Gabii: Going from Notes to Data to Narrative, specifically, the Notes to Data section of that tutorial. Stop and Smell…the Material Culture resources are available free to use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. The resources for Gabbing About Gabii are under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA 2.0) license. 

Thank you so much for utilizing our educational resources! This Digital Data Story is currently in an open peer review stage. If you have the time, please consider contributing an open peer review to our ongoing review process.  This Digital Data Story will move to the published stage after revision based on peer reviewer feedback. Such updates will be noted here, and will be first available through the code repository prior to PDF updating.

First published: November 2023

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