OS and FS in archaeology

Luca Bezzi luca.bezzi@arc-team.com
Fri Jun 2 14:12:57 CEST 2006

Hi everybody,
First of all I want to thank Stefano for the mailing list he created, I think it
is very usefull. Unfortunatly me and my firends (Arc-Team) will not partecipate
very often during the summer (we are all working in different excavations, so we
have very few time for internet). I saw the interesting discussion and I want to
write a few words:

1)We are close to release the official ArcheOS 1.1
(http://www.arc-team.com/archeos/index.html), so if you have some suggestions
please partecipate to the forum. I have some questions I would like some users
will answer: is it better to put in ArcheOS less software or the software is
still not enough? Would you like to have some software for laserscanning
(actually seems that very few people use it in archaeology), or something like a
3D CAD (I am thinking about BRLCAD)?... please help us in developing ArcheOS...

2)Since many years we are working with only FS and OS software in archaeology,
but I think I still know how some closed software is working. I just want to
confirm what Benjamin already said. Often OS and FS software is better than
closed software: there are some work in archaeology that I really don't know how
to do with closed software. For example if I want to virtually reconstruct the
archaeological record (that I destroyed when I digged), I need to use the voxel
graphic, so my best choice is Grass and Paraview
(http://www.arc-team.com/html_en/OpenSource_en_Presentations.html)... I don't
know closed software that can do the same (I would like to know if there is
some). And this is only one example.

3)If I look at my personal experience I think that in our job we can replace most
of the closed software we normally use with OS and  FS. Personally I think that
the only gap we have in FS is about the photogrammethric stereo-reconstruction. I
mean that actually in my opinion there is nothing in FS that you can compare with
ERDAS's module Orthobase. We tryd to use Stereo and we can say it is a very good
software, but it is still too instable and too slow. We hope that e-foto will be
developed very fast, cause it seems to be the only free software that can work
like Erdas.

4)When we started to work with free software we tried to speak about it to many
archaeologists, but there were some problems:
- often arcaheologists didn't accept the use of the computer in their work
(expecially in the field). Actually the situation seems to be changing (in a
better way)
- when we spoke about free software, they confuse it with freeware, so we started
to speack about open source. Actually we would like to introduce the difference
between open source and free software, and develope ArcheOS in the direction of
free software (we had a discussion about this with R. M. Stallman). But the
problem is that maybe it is too early to speak about this with archaeologists...
it can generate confusion again.

5)One of our main objective (in the OpArc project: 
http://www.arc-team.com/html_it/OpenSource_it.html) was to share the data.
Actually we didn't find a solution about this, and we think that to solve this
problem we will need the help of a lawyer (or an expert)... I mean that if you
are an archaeologist and you want to share the data of your excavation (even
before a publication), your main problem will be that only the sovrintendence can
publish arcaheological data. If you share data before the publication of the
sovrintendence (I am speaking about Italy), you do something against the law (I
think there is a "decreto" about this...). I didn' have time to study the
argument, but I think it should be important to do it...

I hope this mailing list will grew more and more. Best regards,

Luca Bezzi

Archaeology & Free Software

More information about the Archaeology mailing list