The research center ROCEEH (The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans) is a project of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities1 the aim of which is to discover, contextualize and preserve the deep past of humankind’s cultural heritage. ROCEEH explores the history of humanity and its early expansions between three million and 20,000 years ago. ROCEEH also develops cultural concepts with which we examine how human culture evolved. ROCEEH makes the deep past of our cultural heritage accessible by compiling data about archaeological sites and their associated assemblages. With a new publication tool called the ROAD Summary Data Sheet this information is now available to the public in a concise format.
The ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD) archives systematically collected data from sites in Africa and Eurasia. The database contains a vast amount of archaeological, paleoanthropological, paleobiological, geographical and bibliographical information stored in more than 50 separate tables. Most of the data come from published scientific literature. As of October 2020, ROAD contains data from more than 1,900 localities, 12,000 assemblages and 3,400 publications, with data entry ongoing.
To make these data accessible to the scientific and general public, ROAD provides a tool for generating a data sheet summarizing information about each locality in the form of a PDF. The PDF presents essential data for a selected locality including its geographic coordinates, profiles of the geological and archaeological layers, and ages of the site, layers and assemblages. Furthermore, the PDF describes the various assemblages and their find types as well as publication sources. Each ROAD Summary Data Sheet is a publication in itself under the license CC BY-NC 4.0 and can be effectively used for science, education, data sharing and data control. With the publication of these data sheets, the project provides a public tool for exploring the early human past. The research center also hopes for further participation from external users to help keep the data as up-to-date and accurate as possible.
The ROAD Summary Data Sheets can be accessed without registration at: https://www.roceeh.uni-tuebingen.de/roadweb/.
If you are interested in learning more about the ROCEEH research center and possibilities for analyses with ROAD, please visit our homepage: www.roceeh.net.