15. August 2021 · Comments Off on Treatment of Confidential and Sensitive Content in DAHA · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,

The Center for Digital Antiquity (DA) utilizes a detailed policy for the treatment of sensitive and/or confidential documents for projects that are uploaded to tDAR by DA staff. For the DAHA project, Digital Antiquity staff reviewed that policy and consulted with representatives of the Cultural Resources Working Group of the Four Southern Tribes. This document outlines the policy as it was applied to documents added to the DAHA archive.

Treatment of Confidential and Sensitive Content in DAHA

Confidential Information is information about the location or nature of any archaeological resource or historic property the disclosure of which would create a risk of harm to the resource. Federal officials responsible for archaeological resources or historic properties covered by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act (ARPA, 16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA, 54 USC 300101 et seq.: Historic Preservation) are required to restrict access to information about the nature or location of these resources unless release of the information would further the purposes of the statutes and not create a risk of harm to the resources. In practice, the information most commonly regarded as confidential is very specific location information about archaeological resources. Sensitive Information is information that may be culturally offensive to some individuals or groups.

All confidential information in documents in DAHA has been redacted and spatial locations have been obfuscated on website maps. A full, unredacted version has been uploaded to tDAR but marked as confidential. Access to this version is strictly controlled and requires permission from the contributor. The redacted copy of the document in tDAR is publicly available for viewing and download. 

All sensitive information in DAHA documents has also been redacted. This includes images, drawings, photographs or other representations of human remains or burials. As described above, an unredacted version has been stored in tDAR but is confidential and requires permission from the contributor in order to receive access. The redacted version is publicly available for viewing and download.

As a standard step in the Digital Curation workflow, each DAHA document was reviewed by a trained digital curator who searched for both confidential and sensitive information throughout the report. Content that was found was flagged for redaction. Next, a senior digital curator reviewed that document and verified that all sensitive and/or confidential information had been flagged and redacted. Finally, each contributor or DAHA partner was asked to review the documents belonging to their collection, looking in particular at any sensitive and/or confidential content that might be present.

16. August 2018 · Comments Off on A Crowd Sourced User Survey for the Digital Archive of Huhugam Archaeology (DAHA) · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,

By Keith Kintigh and Mary Whelan

In October, 2017 the DAHA team designed a survey to assess the relevant information-related needs of the Digital Archive of Huhugam Archaeology’s key user communities:  archaeologists and others working in cultural heritage management who are concerned with Huhugam archaeology. We wanted to distribute the survey to as many Huhugam archaeologists as possible so we sought the help of the 177 members of the Arizona Archaeological Council (AAC). This is the professional organization of archaeologists working in Arizona. Although most AAC members are not Huhugam archaeology specialists, we thought this group contained much of the audience we were targeting.  We also contacted an additional 28 Huhugam archaeologists not affiliated with AAC. Most individuals received an initial email request to participate (containing the link to the survey) and at least one email reminder.

Between 18 October and 30 November 2017, we received 49 anonymous responses. We were encouraged by the 24% response rate, especially given that the distribution included a substantial number of individuals for whom the survey was not relevant.  The survey was designed to elicit a reasonable number of responses from the community of Huhugam archaeologists and it was successful in that regard; it was not designed to obtain a statistically representative sample.

We published the full DAHA User Survey Report in the “Reports in Digital Archaeology Publication Series.”  Reports in Digital Archaeology is an online publication series devoted to issues regarding research and practice in digital archiving of archaeological materials and archaeologically related data. Below are some of the survey highlights.

Analysis of the Results

Because the goal of the survey was to provide feedback from Huhugam archaeologists for use in developing the DAHA archive, the questions were focused primarily on two areas:  what research questions are of most interest to the user communities, and what IT tools and technological support would enhance and expand the user experience with the DAHA digital library in tDAR.

The results confirmed our beliefs that there is a perceived need for DAHA and that the archive will be heavily used by Huhugam archaeologists. The survey’s responses on how archaeologists use reports and what features they want to see in DAHA indicate that we should focus development on features that facilitate efficient discovery of the desired documents and that allow users to find or extract specific types of information they are looking for within reports.  The results are helpful in both prioritizing the kinds of resources to add to DAHA, and for the development of natural language processing (NLP) tools.

Table 1. What do you see as the three most important questions in Huhugam Archaeology?

Count Subject
21 Understanding the End of Classic/Huhugam Collapse
16 Huhugam Connections to Descendent Communities
14 Huhugam Organization
11 Preclassic/Classic Transition
10 Internal Hohokam Interaction
9 Adaptation to Environment
7 Identity/Ethnicity/Ideology
7 Modeling/Refinement of Population
6 Methods Issues
5 Water Management/Irrigation/River Flow
5 Relevance to today
5 Subsistence & Production
4 Chronology Refinement
4 Early Agricultural to Pioneer Period
4 External Interaction – Including with Mesoamerica & Pueblo areas
3 Nature of Classic Period
3 Huhugam Origins
3 Resilience of Huhugam

Several survey questions provided valuable information concerning the research topics of most interest to the user communities (Table 1).  Those results will likely be of interest to many Hohokam archaeologists, and will help structure the organization of the final DAHA archive, as well as provide guidelines for decisions about the most important documents to include in the archive.

Table 2.  What features would help you in using grey literature reports to advance knowledge of Huhugam society?

Count Feature
13 Keyword Search/Index to reports [already implemented]
12 Full Text Search [already implemented]
4 Good Abstracts/Summaries of Scope & Results
3 Master (Annotated) Bibliography of Huhugam Reports
3 Spatial Search [already implemented]
2 Extract Tables as Spreadsheets
2 Organization Search Output to Facilitate Selection
2 Topic Search
1 List of Analysis Types Reported
1 Indication if Full Text is Available in Search Result
1 Indication if Report is Peer Reviewed or Agency Approved
1 Abstract preview before download [already implemented]
1 Quick Response Time
1 Partial Download
1 Connect Tabulated Data with Associated Text
1 Integrate with AZSite
1 Voice Search

A later question (Table 2) was most useful in directing the development of natural language processing tools and adding or enhancing tDAR search and access features. The two most common requests shown in Table 2, keyword and full-text search, are core features built into tDAR from its beginning.  The report abstracts are generally extracted and made available on the metadata pages as the document summary.  Like full text and keyword search, spatial search is a core feature of tDAR available from the beginning.  Being able to extract document tables as spreadsheets is a challenging request that we are considering.

Question by question and full text survey results are available in tDAR:

23. July 2018 · Comments Off on If you could apply Text Mining to your archaeological research, what would it look like? · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

By Rachel Fernandez and Mary Whelan

Computer automated part-of-speech analysis of an English sentence.

If you Google “archaeology” and “text mining” you get a pretty small number of results. While both the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) in the UK and Open Context, the American open data and publication service, have worked on projects that apply text mining techniques to archaeological reports, it is probably safe to say that most archaeologists are unfamiliar with how text mining or data science can contribute to archaeological research. This isn’t surprising since most of us specialize in the analysis of some material culture product, not the analysis of written reports. But as McManamon et al. (2017) have pointed out, the volume of new archaeological articles, books, compliance reports and other documents is so large, and grows so quickly, that no one person can possibly read it all. Text mining offers automated approaches that help with this “data deluge.”

Illustration of the stages from binary computer code, to ASCII code, to an English language sentence.

This past April, the Digital Archive of Huhugam Archaeology (DAHA) team hosted an NEH-funded research workshop focused on Archaeology and Text Mining. Led by DAHA investigators Michael Simeone, Keith Kintigh and Adam Brin, we invited 9 panel experts including archaeologists, Native American scholars, and Digital Humanities researchers, to meet with the DAHA team for a day of discussion. We asked the panelists first to simply talk about how they use digital texts in their work, regardless of their discipline.

Working in small groups, the participants discussed the epistemology of research for their respective fields and quickly turned the conversation to the how text mining digital documents could benefit each field. Ideas such as pulling artifact counts and site descriptions from standardized CRM reports to demographic studies were mentioned. Professor David Abbott, a Huhugam Researcher in ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change, brought up the potential for text mining to advance synthetic research.

Next, we wanted to hear their ideas about how we might make the DAHA digital text corpus more useful to a broad and diverse audience with text mining. Joshua MacFadyen, Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, and the School of Sustainability at ASU, brought up this important question on user experience and how we are able to record and trace this impact of these tools on a diverse user group. In addition, David Martinez, member of the Gila River Indian Community and Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at ASU, hopes that this technology can potentially bridge the gap between community users and researchers and allow the users to interpret data in ways that interest these communities. Overall, text processing was thought to be most useful in aiding filtering and analysis of data, rather than providing direct insights.

Finally, we asked all the participants to reflect on what we accomplished and identify useful directions the DAHA team can take in using Text Mining tools and technology. Some of the possible features to come out from DAHA include: automated tools for the extraction of specific text sections, such as tables, references, or headings, use of ontologies to make documents more efficient, topic related searches, and the ability to gather set of reports and have the data linked to its various sources.

Illustration of the steps in Named Entity Recognition

The DAHA grant proposal focused specifically on Natural Language Processing applications for text analysis. But during the workshop, a number of more general Text Mining approaches were mentioned, including:

  • Corpus Statistics (Word frequencies across corpus)
  • Concordance
  • N-Grams
  • Advanced queries across multiple texts
  • Named Entity Recognition
  • Topic Modeling
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Network Analysis
  • Text visualization options
  • GeoParsing (geographic information extraction)

If you are interested in applying text mining tools to a document corpus of importance to you, there are several good, open source toolkits that support one or more approaches:

  1. AntConc (http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antconc/ ) is an easy-to-use set of tools for analyzing any type of text corpus. AntConc provides tools to calculate word frequency, concordance, N-Grams, and corpus statistics.
  2. ConText (http://context.lis.illinois.edu/ ) is a package of tools that allow you to do topic modeling, sentiment analysis, parts-of-speech analysis, and visualization of a text corpus.
  3. MALLET (http://mallet.cs.umass.edu/index.php ) MAchine Learning for LanguagE Toolkit is a very popular topic modeling tool.
  4. Ora-Lite (http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/projects/ora/software.php ) is a software package that helps you identify and visualize networks (e.g., people who communicated with each other or places that are linked) in text data.
  5. Voyant (https://voyant-tools.org/docs/#!/guide/start ) is a free online service that supports a number of corpus analysis tools, including visualization.
    1 McManamon, Francis P., Keith W. Kintigh, Leigh Anne Ellison, and Adam Brin. 2017. “The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR): An Archive – for 21st Century Digital Archaeology Curation” Advances in Archaeological Practice 5(3), pp. 238–249.
20. June 2018 · Comments Off on The Center for Digital Antiquity Presentations at the AZ Historic Preservation Conference · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

The lively and well-attended Arizona Statewide Historic Preservation Conferencewas held earlier this month at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. The Center for Digital Antiquity organized two sessions for the conference.


One of the sessions highlighted the Digital Archive for Huhugam Archaeology(DAHA) project underway at the Center in collaboration with the Amerind Museum , ASU Libraries, the ASU Center for Archaeology and Society, other ASU scholars, Pueblo Grande Museum, the City of Phoenix Archaeologist office, other public agencies.  Also involved are Archaeology Southwest, Desert Archaeology, Statistical Research, Inc., and a number of other CRM firms in southern Arizona.


Organized by Leigh Anne Ellison, who summarized the various aspects of DAHA, presentations also were made by David Martinez, Frank McManamon, and Adam Brin.  Martinez described the dialogue with tribal communities as part of the project.  McManamon summarized the building of content for DAHA in a collection in tDAR, the Digital Archaeological Record.  Brin summarized research on natural language processing and “text mining” as part of the project that will enable more detailed research on the rich body of technical reports and other documents assembled in the digital archive. Learn more about this and our other session here.

09. May 2017 · Comments Off on Partner Organizations · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

The project has commitment from the following organizations to supply reports to be entered in DAHA. If your organization would like to join the list of partners, please contact the Center for Digital Antiquity comments@tdar.org.

Amerind Foundation All published and unpublished reports including seminal publications on sites in Southern Arizona and Chihuahua.
Archaeology Southwest Huhugam reports produced by Archaeology Southwest (formerly, Center for Desert Archaeology)
Arizona Museum of Natural History Reports documenting work at Phoenix/Mesa area Huhugam sites such as Mesa Grande, another large Huhugam settlement, over the course of 34 years
ASU Center for Archaeology & Society Reports that describe the ASU Office of Cultural Management’s seminal archaeological work on Huhugam sites in the Phoenix and Tonto Basins
ASU Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Reports abd maps, from early 20th century Huhugam research – the Frank Midvale Papers Collection and the Odd S. Halseth Photographic Collection: Pueblo Grande Photographs 1929 – 1960
Desert Archaeology, Inc. Anthropological Papers and Technical Reports describing projects from Desert Archaeology’s 32 years of research in the Phoenix and Tucson basins
EcoPlan Associates, Inc. Reports that describe the results of EcoPlan’s archaeological projects in the Phoenix Basin over the course of 16 years
Logan Simpson Design, Inc. Reports that document Logan Simpson’s excavation and testing projects in the Phoenix Basin, primarily the Phoenix metro area
City of Phoenix, Pueblo Grande Museum Reports and documents that describe a century of research at Pueblo Grande, a major Huhugam settlement with the largest platform mound in the Phoenix Basin; several series of reports that describe work at other large archaeological sites in the Phoenix metro area
Rio Salado Archaeology Reports documenting Rio Salado’s 9 years of archaeological research in the Phoenix Basin
Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI) Reports that describe SRI’s archaeological work in the Phoenix and Tucson basins over the course of 30 years
USDI Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Phoenix Area Office (PXAO) Reports documenting decades of archaeological investigations and cultural resource management projects on the lands and waterways that the federal agency manages in central and southern Arizona