History of the Website
The Henry Luce Foundation has generously supported the establishment of this website to facilitate scholarly exchange in the field of Southeast Asian archaeology. The first two goals were to post an online scholarly bibliography and the skeletal data from Ban Chiang. Dr. Christopher King, webmaster of the site, has since August 2000 been developing the web-based bibliography. Scholarly references pertinent to Southeast Asian archaeology are often in obscure and difficult-to-find journals and libraries. Thus there exists, particularly among younger scholars, a lack of knowledge of the literature base outside of recent publications. When the website first came online in June, 2002, the database comprised over 4300 references for the web-based bibliography. Now in our sixth year of operation, the website has nearly 10,000 references related to Southeast Asia and other articles of general interest to archaeologists and skeletal biologists.
HOW THE WEB-BASED BIBLIOGRAPHY WAS CONSTRUCTED
In the early 1990s Ruth Brown, a retired librarian from Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences, volunteered for the Ban Chiang Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. She undertook the initial computerization of a working bibliography for the Ban Chiang Project using the bibliographic software Citation.
As the database grew, other scholars asked how they could access it. Joyce White, Director of the Ban Chiang Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, saw its potential to be more widely available and thus make a contribution to the field. She incorporated the implementation of this concept into the Museum's grant proposal to the Luce Foundation, which sought support for publication of the Museum's research in Thailand.
With Penn Museum's receipt of the Luce grant, and the expression of interest by Christopher King, then a PhD student at the University of Hawaii, in implementing the project, the Southeast Asian archaeological website was initiated. The web-based bibliography was designed and installed in several steps. First Christopher identified Biblioscape software as an appropriate program to house the bibliography on the web. Then White periodically sent sets of 100 references in Citation format to Christopher, who uploaded them into Biblioscape after customizing them as necessary. Christopher also created reference formats for journal styles commonly used by Southeast Asian archaeologists, beginning with American Antiquity. White designed an indexed list of keywords and coded each set of 100 references before sending them. After much back and forth over the course of ten months, in June 2001, the final set from White's initial 2500 Citation references was brought into Biblioscape, the final of ten journal styles was programmed and corrected, and the web-based bibliography was installed onto a server at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
HOW THE WEB-BASED SKELETAL DATABASE WAS ESTABLISHED
During spring 2002, work was undertaken to create downloadable web-based versions of the Ban Chiang skeletal data files. These were derived from the CD (Appendix E) that accompanied Pietrusewsky and Douglas's monograph on the Ban Chiang human remains. A few errors in the CD version were corrected in the process and are posted on the website. Codebooks and skeletal recording forms are also posted to facilitate physical anthropologists in the collection of comparable data.
In 2005, permission was received to add to the website Non Nok Tha skeletal data collected by Michele Toomay Douglas for her dissertation. This process has led to the addition of Access and comma-delimited data files of the Non Nok Tha skeletal data on the website in 2007.
HOW THE WEB-BASED DATABASE OF METALS, CRUCIBLES, MOLDS, AND SLAG WAS ESTABLISHED
In 2006, we decided to put on the web full provenience and analytical data about the metals and metals-related artifacts excavated from the sites of Ban Chiang, Ban Phak Top, Ban Tong, and Don Klang. Because we wanted the data to be fully searchable by any field, and to present all the images as well, we transferred the data into Filemaker Pro 8. Using Filemaker Pro's Instant Web Publishing capabilities, the data were then presented on the Web. As with the skeletal data, however, we also provided downloadable versions of the recording forms and codebooks,as well as downloadable versions of the data in Access 2000, Filemaker Pro 8, and comma-delimited so that scholars may use and manipulate these data on their own computers.