All posts by DArS chair

ADS – Archaeological Data Service

The ADS – Archaeological Data Service is probably one of the biggest archives for excavation data in the United Kingdom. It covers most data from England, but also hosts some data from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. In addition, you can find some reports from Europe, Middle East, South America, Africa and Asia. It allows you to search the archives by free text or browse them sorted by time period, finds, region etc.

All data in ADS is free for access, and only requires you to accept the terms of use and access every time you download a report. You may also register for an account and get immediate access to all data.


Ances Trees

AncesTrees was developed for assessing ancestry based on metric analysis. AncesTrees relies on a machine learning ensemble algorithm, random forest, to classify the human skull. In the ensemble learning paradigm, several models are generated and co-jointly used to arrive at the final decision. The random forest algorithm creates ensembles of decision trees classifiers, a non-linear and non-parametric classification technique. The database used in AncesTrees is composed by 23 craniometric variables from 1,734 individuals, representative of six major ancestral groups and selected from the Howells’ craniometric series.


The purpose of CRANID is to assess a skull’s probable biological ancestry, in the  broad geographical sense of the ‘ethnographic present’.

The package allows you to use multivariate methods of linear discriminant analysis and nearest neighbour discriminant analysis with 29 measurements on an individual skull. It assumes that the individual skull is within the range of variation of modern Homo sapiens. The skulls will be classified after automated comparison with 74 samples that include 3,163 skulls from around the world.

Authored by Richard Wright.


Tablet based App for recording skeletons in the field or lab.  Records Adult or Juvenile skeletons with sex, age and stature estimations. Allows user to draw or annotate a visual image of the skeleton and atatch photos. Data can be exported and shared with other Skelly-Pad users.


See fore more details


Dr Gill Hunt

Gill has worked in the IT industry for many years, most recently as an expert witness helping clients unravel the mess caused by large IT project failures. She has just completed a BSc in Archaeology at the University of Reading and through that discovered an interest in developing tools to help archaeologists in their day to day activities.

So far she has concentrated on Apps but she is also interested in database design, archives and using new technology to provide practical solutions to research problems.