Computational Research on the Ancient Near East (CRANE): Large-Scale Data Integration and Analysis in Near Eastern Archaeology

Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online

This Special Issue of Levant presents a series of papers that represent an outgrowth from a CRANE-sponsored Workshop on the Ceramic Petrography of the Northern Levant, convened at the Department of Archaeology Durham University in August 2015. This particular paper is intended to provide a brief introduction to the CRANE Project to help readers understand the context from within which these papers emerged. The rapid proliferation of digital data in Near Eastern Archaeology, precipitated by an ever expanding array of data capture technology, has created an urgent need to establish a collaborative research environment with the capacity to address long-standing issues of access, data compatibility, integration and analytical capability. The Computational Research on the Ancient Near East (CRANE) initiative is a multi-disciplinary consortium, made up of archaeologists, historians, palaeoenvironmentalists and computer scientists, that seeks to facilitate the creation of such a collaborative scholarly framework. CRANE has focused initially on the Orontes Watershed, a cohesive geographical unit and region, uniquely positioned as a cultural microcosm of the broader ancient Near East. It was thus viewed as an ideal operational test case.