VERA: virtual environment for research in archaeology
Baker, M., Grove, M., Fulford, M., O'Riordan, E., Warwick, C., Terras, M., Fisher, C. and Rains, M. (2008) VERA: virtual environment for research in archaeology. In: 4th International Conference on e-Social Science (NCeSS), Manchester, UK.
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The VERA (Virtual Environment for Research in Archaeology) project is based on a research excavation of part of the large Roman town at Silchester, which aims to trace the site's development from its origins before the Roman conquest to its abandonment in the fifth century A.D. . The VERA project aims to investigate how archaeologists use Information Technology (IT) in the context of a field excavation, and also for post-excavation analysis. VERA is a two-year project funded by the JISC VRE 2 programme that involves researchers from the University of Reading, University College London, and York Archaeological Trust. The overall aim of the project is to assess and introduce new tools and technologies that can aid the archaeological processes of gathering, recording and later analysis of data on the finds and artefacts discovered. The researchers involved in the project have a mix of skills, ranging from those related to archaeology, and computer science, though to ones involving usability and user assessment. This paper reports on the status of the research and development work undertaken in the project so far; this includes addressing various programming hurdles, on-site experiments and experiences, and the outcomes of usability and assessment studies.