Teaching Digital Archaeology With Jupyter Notebooks


January 13th, 2019

49 mins 35 secs

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About this Episode


Computers have found their way into virtually every area of human endeavor, and archaeology is no exception. To aid his students in their exploration of digital archaeology Shawn Graham helped to create an online, digital textbook with accompanying interactive notebooks. In this episode he explains how computational practices are being applied to archaeological research, how the Online Digital Archaeology Textbook was created, and how you can use it to get involved in this fascinating area of research.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Shawn Graham about his work on the Online Digital Archaeology Textbook


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what digital archaeology is?
  • To facilitate your teaching you have collaborated on the O-DATE textbook and associated Jupyter notebooks. Can you describe what that resource covers and how the project got started?
  • What have you found to be the most critical lessons for your students to help them be effective archaeologists?
    • What are the most useful aspects of leveraging computational techniques in an archaeological context?

  • Can you describe some of the sources and formats of data that would commonly be encountered by digital archaeologists?

  • The notebooks that accompany the text have a mixture of R and Python code. What are your personal guidelines for when to use each language?

  • How have the skills and tools of software engineering influenced your views and approach to research and education in the realm of archaeology?

  • What are some of the most novel or engaging ways that you have seen computers applied to the field of archaeology?

  • What are your goals and aspirations for the O-DATE project?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA