During the past twenty years, archaeologists in the Mediterranean have accumulated large
amounts of computerized data that have remained trapped in localized
and often proprietary databases. Few efforts have been made to facilitate
ways in which such data might be brought together and shared between
researchers, with students, and with the general public. It is now
possible to change that situation. Archaeological data always includes
an intrinsic geographic component, and the compilation and sharing
of geographic data through GIS has become increasingly important
during the past fifteen years. New technologies and the expansion of
the Internet now make it possible to share geographic information
quickly, widely and effectively. That sort of exchange is required
should archaeologists, anthropologists or historians wish to study
regional or Mediterranean-wide patterns and draw historical conclusions
that are broader than their own study areas.
This web-site is a result of the development of a Collaboratory
for GIS and Mediterranean Archaeology (CGMA, pronounced "sigma").
The goal of CGMA is to provide students with a chance to learn and practice
archaeology while contributing to scholarship. In particular, students
can learn about an important new technology, specifically GIS, and
how this technology is transforming spatial studies in archaeology.
In addition, by combining the efforts of students and faculty, CGMA
has constructed the first Mediterranean-wide GIS system
for archaeology, providing a functional framework for broad studies
of the interactions of humans and their environment in antiquity.