After the successful launch of Archaeology 101 (archaeology101.com) at the end of April, Autumn and I began brainstorming ways to add to and improve the website. We also examined user feedback to better highlight areas that could be upgraded (thank you to all those who have checked out the website!). Moving forward this summer, I plan to make two major changes to the website, both of which will help make the website more informative and appealing.
First, I plan to add a new page to the website that outlines how archaeologists excavate sites and how we record our finds. This page will include plenty of written content, but will also contain videos and other interactive elements demonstrating some of the concepts discussed. While Archaeology 101 already contains a lot of information about archaeology, the original website only very briefly mentions how archaeologists excavate and recover artifacts, leaving a major gap in our coverage of the archaeological process. This new page will help to fill that gap and make our coverage of the discipline more complete.
The second component that will be changed is the interactive map located on the Place page. Currently, this map shows the locations of a number of pre-contact and post-contact public archaeological sites in the state of Illinois, but not in other states. As such, this map has less of an appeal for users that live outside of Illinois. In order to make the map appeal to a broader audience (and to update some of the code), this map will be completely replaced by a new map that shows the locations and short descriptions of public archaeological sites all over the continental United States. Both pre- and post-contact sites will be highlighted in each state, so that people all over the U.S. can find public archaeological sites located closer to them. This map will also do a better job of demonstrating the variety of locations in which sites can be found and the different types of archaeological sites that exist across the U.S.
Stay tuned here and at archaeology101.com to see these changes once they are live!