iPad helping University of Cincinnatti archaeologists uncover secrets at Pompeii

I love it when technology solves an old problem or facilitates discoveries!  This new method for recording excavation information in the field is infinitely more efficient than the traditional ‘pencil and paper’ method, allowing the researcher to instantly retrieve information.

Ellis credits the introduction of six iPad devices at Pompeii with helping his team solve one of the most difficult problems of archaeological fieldwork: how to efficiently and accurately record the complex information they encounter in the trenches.

The idea of using iPad to collect the massive data the project would generate came from Ellis’s University of Cincinnati colleague John Wallrodt, an expert on digital databases for archaeological projects.

Adds Ellis: “It was the ability to enter so many disparate kinds of information, recording everything from architectural elements to fish scales and bones to the actual sequences of events. That my team could both type and draw on the screen, and also examine all previously entered data, made it an ideal single-device solution.

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The Art of Counting is dedicated to the memory of Margery Meilleur, who first taught me to view history through the eyes of the images we create.