Dissertations, articles, datasets and infrastructure improvement reports

Completed Masters Dissertation

Masters dissertation supported by the DataArc Project.

Mar Roigé Oliver - Cairn and Landscape Interaction. A Study of Human Ecodynamics in the North Atlantic. University of Glasgow.

Cairns are very versatile constructions, used for a variety of human activities. For this reason,
this master’s thesis focuses on the analysis of navigational and agricultural cairns as a way to
further the study and understanding of human ecodynamics in the North Atlantic. The project
was developed within the wider framework of DataARC, a ciberinfrastructure that interconnects
several North Atlantic datasets while facilitating access to them. This master’s thesis aims to
connect its results and datasets to cyberinfrastructure’s concept map. The study uses a variety of
interdisciplinary data, methodologies, tools, and approaches in its analysis. It is divided into two
case studies. Case Study One analyses the role of navigational cairns and their relationship with
the roads and the general landscape while creating proposed routes between late medieval/early
modern farm networks in Iceland. The methods used in this case study are least cost path and
intervisibility analysis. The results support the hypothesis that cairns were being used as road
markers, and suggests a dependence between landscape features and cairn positioning, indicating
landscape agency. Case Study Two focuses on analysing the position and effect of clearance cairns
in the Scottish landscape. Archaeological and landscape data (i.e. soil quality, land compaction,
erosion levels, and continued use in agricultural practices) were combined in a newly created
dataset that was examined with statistical analysis. The results show a correlation between the
presence of cairns and a high erosion risk while proposing three effects of clearance cairns on
soils: so exhaustive they are no longer cultivable, they are cultivable but have a risk of erosion,
and so non-exhaustive that they can still be cultivated. Overall, the project’s findings highlight
cairns’ usefulness in the study of human ecodynamics. In both case studies, cairns are the physical
representation of an active and ever-changing interaction between humans and their environment,
and the relevance and agency of landscape. These are based on Case Study One’s feature-dependent
cairns, and Case Study Two’s observation of human adaptation to the landscape’s changes. This
opens the possibility of an expansion of the area of study, including other areas and continents,
and/or a focus on developing studies that focus on cairn multifunctionality.

Download the dissertation.

Access the data archive on zenodo.

Published Articles

Publications about DataArc

Alexander, S. M., Jones, K., Bennett, N. J., Budden, A., Cox, M., Crosas, M., ... Strawhacker, C.& Karcher, S. (2019). Qualitative data sharing and synthesis for sustainability science. Nature Sustainability, 1-8.

Buckland, P.I. & Sjölander, M. (2020). Approaches to Research Data Infrastructure for Archaeological Science.. Digital Heritage and Archaeology in Practice.  Watrall, E. & Goldstein, L..  University Press Florida..  .

Palsson, G. and Opitz, R. (2019) DataArc: a case study using CIDOC CRM as an ontology for transdisciplinary research. In Niccolucci, F. and Richards, J. (2019) The ARIADNE Impact, ARCHAEOLINGUA FOUNDATION, Hungary. https://zenodo.org/record/3476712#.XcaYi1WeTIU

Jones, K., Alexander, S. M., Bennett, N., Bishop, L., Budden, A., Cox, M., Strawhacker, C.... & Hardy, D. (2018). Qualitative data sharing and re-use for socio-environmental systems research: A synthesis of opportunities, challenges, resources and approaches. Available at: https://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/handle/1903/20257/Qualitative%20Data%20Sharing%20and%20Re-Use%20White%20Paper.pdf?sequence=3

Strawhacker, C., Buckland, P., Palsson, G., Fridrikkson, A., Lethbridge, E., Brin, A., ... & Dawson, T. (2015). Building cyberinfrastructure from the ground up for the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization introducing the cyberNABO Project. In 2015 Digital Heritage (Vol. 2, pp. 457-460). IEEE.


Publications describing related datasets and data infrastructures where improvements were enabled through Dataarc

Buckland, P.I., Sjölander, M. & Eriksson, E.J. (2019). Strategic Environmental Archaeology Database (SEAD). The Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology  Springer.

Dugmore, A., Jackson, R. Cooper, D., Newton, A., J Júlíusson, A.D., Streeter, R., Hreinsson, V., Crabtree, S., Hambrecht, Hicks, M., and McGovern, T.H. (2020). Continuity in the face of a slowly unfolding catastrophe: the persistence of Icelandic settlement despite large-scale soil erosion. Catastrophes in Context  Felix Riede and Payson Sheets.  Bergham Books.  Oxford.

Lethbridge, E. and Hartman, S.. (2016). Inscribing Environmental Memory in the Icelandic Sagas (IEM) and the Icelandic Saga Map (ISM) Project.  Publications of the Modern Language Association of America. 131 381-391.

Lethbridge, E. (2020). Digital Mapping and the Narrative Stratigraphy of Iceland. In Historical Geography, GIScience and Textual Analysis (pp. 19-32). Springer, Cham.

McGovern, T. (2018). What Is It All For? Archaeology And Global Change Research.  SAA Archaeological Record. 18  (5) . 

Pálsson, G. (2019). Domination, subsistence, and interdependence: Tracing resource claim networks across Iceland’s post-reformation landscape. Human Ecology47(4), 619-636.