The Center for Comparative Archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh aims to help accomplish that goal by fostering the broad comparative study of social change in trajectories of such time depth that their earlier periods, at least, are knowable only through archaeological research. The Center for Comparative Archaeology disseminates, through traditional and non-traditional forms of publication, both the results and the raw material for comparative archaeological research. As the empirical database for comparative archaeological research becomes broader and deeper it is an increasingly challenging, not to say daunting, task to put the growing corpus of information to good use. As the rate of publication of traditional data-rich "site reports" has dwindled, even protecting irreplaceable archaeological information from loss has become a serious worry. The Center for Comparative Archaeology places particular emphasis on preserving and making available the detailed data that are produced by archaeological projects in the field and in the laboratory so that innovative forms of analysis may be applied to cases from different regions. The central role in this effort is played by the Comparative Archaeology Database, which provides open access to archaeological datasets from around the world. These datasets are supported, explained, and complemented in a variety of ways by traditional publications.
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