Medieval Academy of America Presentation!

Written by: Katy Meyers Emery

Primary Source: Bones Don’t Lie, February 24, 2016

Hi everyone! I’m heading off to Boston (if the weather cooperates) today for the Medieval Academy of American meeting. I’ll be presenting on some of my digital work, specifically the ieldran project. I’ll be sending an update on Boston and the meeting following. If you happen to be in the area, come check out my talk, and if you have seafood restaurant suggestions, send them my way.

Date: Saturday, February 27, 8:30-10:30am

Title: Resting Places and Digital Spaces- ieldran: The Early Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Mapping Project

Abstract: The Early English Anglo-Saxon mortuary practices offer robust archaeological evidence, and contribute to our interpretation of social and political organization, changes in religious and ethnic identities, and interactions between post-Roman Britons and Germanic migrants in this period. Studies of mortuary landscapes and space have been pivotal in understanding how these communities are living, dying, and interacting with one another, and geographic information systems (GIS) are an integral part of contemporary projects. Despite this, primary spatial data from GIS are rarely shared or published in shareable formats, which inhibits growth of mortuary spatial studies by forcing constant re-creation of spatial data. This is particularly problematic for the Early Anglo-Saxon period, when studies of space can be so informative for learning about this complex period of ethnic, religious, political and social change. With this in mind, ieldran: The Early Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Mapping Project was created to provide an online geospatial database of Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries that could be accessed and downloaded freely. Ieldran (from ‘ancestors’ in Old English) displays all burials in England that date from the mid-5th to early 7th centuries CE with relevant information about the burials present, references to books and journals, location of museum collections, and links to other relevant digital material. Users can also download the geospatial information for use in their own analyses of the mortuary landscape from this period. Ieldran is built upon the notion that open data and collaboration can result in a better understanding of this complex period in Early Anglo-Saxon England.

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Katy Meyers Emery
Katy is currently a graduate student studying mortuary archaeology at Michigan State University. Her academic interests are in mortuary and bioarchaeology, with a specific interest in connecting the physical remains to the mortuary context. Along with this, she is also interested in Digital Humanities, and the integration of technology into academia, as well as public archaeology and outreach.
Katy Meyers Emery

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