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A new way to register artifacts

Researchers at the University of Barcelona have developed a new way to register artifacts, by using DM codes, that reduces the errors found in manual markings.

The marking of archaeological material, or coding, is the process in which archaeologists identify each of the artifacts discovered at a site through an identifier code which is currently applied manually to each item and which contains the name of the site, the archaeological level at which it was found and an inventory number. This information is essential because it remits to a complex network of data which contextualises each artifact individually.

Manual coding is a routine process which requires much time and effort, and in which many errors exists — in some cases up to 40%. Moreover, with the pass of time the coding becomes unclear and this often may hinder subsequent studies. For this reason an important part of the work done in museums, especially with important artifacts or collection items, consists in recoding the objects.

The CEPAP team has achieved to reduce coding errors to 1% by applying a new digital cataloguing system used in several dig sites to register all types of collections.

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Story: Science Daily | Photo: CEPAP-UAB

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