US: The University of Arkansas' Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies and Archaeo-Imaging Laboratory have launched a programme called Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations (SPARC), as the result of a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The programme is acting as a national hub for geospatial research and addressing a critical need in archaeology research. The program promotes the use of 3D measurement, geospatial analysis and remote sensing technologies in archaeological research projects around the world, according to Rachel Opitz, Executive Director, SPARC.
“The capability of geospatial technologies to enhance the discovery and interpretation of archaeological remains, from miniature ceramics to mile-long monuments, is not only in offering new data, but creating an entirely novel means of engaging with the archaeological record. For example, subsurface geophysical investigations allow buried archaeological remains to be documented, revealing complete and detailed plans of entire communities, offering new insights into community organization and past built environments without putting a shovel in the ground,” said Opitz. SPARC will help researchers learn about spatial archaeometry, which measures properties of archaeological materials at all scales, including objects, sites and landscapes. The spatial properties of the measurements are central to their analysis and interpretation.