Catalhoyuk diaries: Settling in

It's my first proper working day on site this season and I'm slowly working my way through Sarah's documentation of the database work and general IT issues she's encountered while she was here. At this stage, I only have one major 'new' application to work on, and in large part that's thanks to Sarah's hard work over the past months, both on- and off-site.

I'm hoping that now that the hard grunt work of centralising, bug fixing, cleaning and consolidating the existing databases over the past few years is (mostly) over, and the applications I created in previous years are bedded in, I'll have a real chance to think about what else we can do with all this data. I was so busy before I left London that I hadn't really had a chance to get excited about coming back to Catalhoyuk but as soon as I was on my way I realised that this could be an immensely intellectually rich and rewarding two weeks.

There's always so much new technology, I'm sure there's a knack to not getting carried away by every new possibility. But I can't help but wonder what would happen if we recreated Catalhoyuk in Second Life or another 3D world. Imagine re-populating the mound with a living community of real people!

I'd love to see how we could use semantic web/Web 2.0 technologies to open up our data to the rest of the world. I'm interested in the tagging technologies emerging through folksonomies like, and wonder if we could apply them to the finds data we publish on the web.

I've realised that you could almost think of the excavation diary entries as blog posts, in which case Catalhoyuk has a blog that goes back to 1997.

[Originally published on, July 22, 2006]

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