DANA (Digital Archaeology and National Archives) - A New Software Tool for Field Archaeologists

Münger, Stefan; Weinblum, Liat (31 March 2015). DANA (Digital Archaeology and National Archives) - A New Software Tool for Field Archaeologists (Unpublished). In: CAA International (Computer Applications & Quantitative Methods in Archaeology). University of Siena, Complesso Universitario San Niccolò, Siena. 31.03.2015.

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The paper presents and showcases a new archaeological documentation system jointly developed since 2011 by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Department of Jewish Studies, University of Bern (Switzerland). It is based on software elements previously developed for the Kinneret Regional Project database framework, operating since 2003.
Governmental archaeological institutions, such as the IAA, are normally involved in rescue excavations and/or complex, long-term projects, often facing difficult work situations in urban/constructional contexts and usually bound to especially tight time frames. Therefore, the envisioned digital tool not only needs to streamline and facilitate the archaeological documentation process but is also required to simplify the administrative reporting workflow, including a seamless integration into the broader, already existing IT-framework of the national archives.
Likewise, the system is expected to guarantee highest academic standards during fieldwork and in the following publication phases.
The basis for DANA – the digital documentation tool under discussion – is the well-known Filemaker Pro database software (V. 12.0.3 and higher). This technically simple database environment allows easy programming, fast debugging and a handy fallback on already existing resources. However, the basic tools offered by Filemaker Pro would not allow a fluid and professional work environment. Thus, DANA is packed with additional technologies, improving both, communication with the different components of the software and the user experience.
In its experimental stage, DANA was successfully tested on five medium scale IAA salvage excavations, of which each one imposed different requirements on the system. Based on these test cases, DANA has been further improved towards a first productive version and was implemented in 2014 in all IAA excavations, counting more than 300 each year.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Jewish Studies
01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology [discontinued] > Institute of Jewish Studies [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Münger, Stefan


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 020 Library & information sciences
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Stefan Münger

Date Deposited:

19 Aug 2016 12:29

Last Modified:

17 Sep 2019 10:16



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