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Archaeology Blogs
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Python easy_install in Portable GIS

One of the things I’ve wanted to fix with Portable GIS is the method of installing new python packages. Since the version of Python included in Portable GIS is not in the windows registry, many python installers don’t work because they can’t find the installation. This includes packages like setuptools, and Pip, for easily installing packages from PyPi. While it’s possible to manually download a package and extract it into the correct location, that’s not fun, elegant, or sustainable, as it takes no account of dependencies or versions.

Enter this post from Nathan Woodrow’s blog. This points us at a bootstrapped installer for setuptools, which will install directly into a folder rather than looking in the registry. Simply download the linked ez___setup.py script, save it to your Portable Python directory (the one that actually includes python.exe) and run it. This should install setuptools into your Portable Python installation and allow you to use easy_install to grab packages (including Pip).

This will be included automatically in the next release of Portable GIS, but for now, it’s an easy do-it-yourself fix.

31 Jul 2014
Theoretical Structural Archaeology
#BlogArch – Where is it all leading?
Over at Doug’s Archaeology Blog the final question for next month’s #blogarch SAA session on blogging is where are you going with blogging or would you it like to go? 
While having spent half my lifetime working on this methodology, I have always had an end in mind, but what I have deduced from this research was utterly unexpected. The ideal end product was always envisaged as a 3D CAD model, and the internet is now the obvious place to present one. But, to cut to the chase, the core of the issue is Peer Review; While it is technically possible to publish a 3D presentation on the internet, how do you peer review a CAD Model?
While Universities are the natural forum for research, reverse engineering structures was never going to work at a zombie department like Newcastle who had even thrown their CAD system away; and my work was branded worthless by their “cosmologist”.  [Caveat emptor]
Ironically, the subsequent decision to blog my research made it worthless, for nothing provided for free has value in terms of the academic system.  Furthermore, it had become apparent that any research that challenges the existing commercial narrative will never be supported by any of the existing stakeholders.
Originally, Iron Age Roundhouses were a key focus, but since most people imagine they have seen one, this is probably now beyond rational redemption.  However, blogging has allowed me to follow a variety of entirely different routes, and to challenge the rationality aspects of peer reviewed Roman archaeology.  The idea of peer review is that it is a firewall that keeps the nonsense out, although in reality it can serve to protect and perpetuate the nonsense already inside.

Quick Case Study; The Archaeology of Stupid Scottish People
As a result of my work on Hadrian's Timber Wall, a colleague sought my opinion on the "Lilia" at Rough Castle, a Roman Fort on the Antonine Wall in Scotland,  I was not entirely convinced, but I have reserved judgment, - for several years.
In this context "Lilia" were small conical pits, [the shape of a lily's flower], no more than a foot in diameter containing a tightly bedded sharpened stake. To work they had to be small, round and concealed; NOT large, rectangular, and visible on Google Earth as at Rough Castle. While  there are dozens of references to timber ramparts, redoubts and similar structures, which are even illustrated on Trajan’s Column, Lilia  is a word used only once in this type of context, and then only as part an narrative of exceptional situation.
So these are NOT "Lilia" and never could be,  in addition, the idea that attacking Scots could be stopped by, or be compelled to fall into a series large rectangular pits is utterly disingenuous to the intelligence of both parties.  Just how stupid were these peer reviewed Scots? 
Maths v 'Peer review' Archaeology
My own solution, a third version, as yet unfinished, already has 2050 individual placed components, perhaps 3000 when finished , and may be presented in a future post. 
In terms of modeling it is laborious, but technically simple compared with a building.  While I am happy it is accurate within predefined parameters, it raises questions which frankly, I can’t answer, and as yet, others have little interest asking. 

Questions such as;
  • How can a CAD model be published?
  • What sort of virtual environment should it be present it in?
  • How much maths is enough to prove a point?  
  • Who is going to check the fit of all the components?
  • Can it be peer reviewed?

I am Blogging TSA as a legacy project, it is free, of zero value, and yet it can be accurate to six inches, if anyone cares to measure it.  So while I will never quite know where I am going, or who is along for the ride, – I do know, fairly precisely, how I am going to get there.  
28 Mar 2014
Past Horizons
British archaeologists fight with Italian farmer to save ancient aqueduct
In January father and son team Edward and Michael O’Neill discovered the headwaters of the aqueduct, which was built by the Emperor Trajan, hidden beneath a crumbling 13th century church north of Rome. A sophisticated example of Roman hydraulic engineering, the aqueduct, known as the Aqua Traiana, was inaugurated in 109AD and carried fresh water […]
06 Jun 2010
All change!
As you may have noticed, BAJR Blogging has remained unloved since December. This is because of the shiney new BAJR Federation site… http://www.bajrfed.co.uk get along there and enjoy…  with news, galleries and forum to keep you up to date and … Continue reading
09 Feb 2010
Online Archaeology Blog
OPEN ARCHIVE - a new web based system for accessing our past
The wealth of information gathered by local archaeological groups and societies on excavations, surveys and documentary research is one of the important sources of data for the study of archaeology in the UK. Currently, this archive of British archaeology is stored locally, within libraries and local history centres as well as with the originating group [...]
16 Sep 2009
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