Part of the ArchAtlas project is to provide a spatial reference database for archaeological sites, objects, chronologies, and cultural features from the past. The priority is to explain (spatially or conceptually) those archaeological items referred to in the visual essays published in the ArchAtlas Journal, and thus create a small but illustrated, inter-linked and narrative-rich digital atlas of the ancient world.
Currently we focus primarily on Sites Mapping, finding accurate co-ordinates for archaeological sites, making available databases and gazetteers of archaeological sites digitally, and where relevant, linking the database to the visual essays in the Journal, through the OpenAtlas.
In the future we hope to expand the atlas in three main directions: to Chronological mapping, Cultural mapping, and an Archaeological GIS repository. Chronological mapping will include issues of representing time and space together online, including chronologies, broad (non-analytical) shifting settlement patterns, cultural distributions and so on. Cultural mapping will involve object typologies and their mapping, cultural zoning, culture areas and packages, and contagious processes. The Archaeological GIS Repository will serve as both a meta database of links and a data repository for data of use for archaeologists which would otherwise prove difficult to find or share.