Seifried, Rebecca

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Geospatial Information Librarian
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Geographic Information Sciences
Archaeological Survey
Landscape Archaeology
Remote Sensing
I am the Geospatial Information Librarian in the Digital Scholarship Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries, and I have a PhD in Anthropology. My main role is to help folks at UMass learn about GIS and use different geospatial resources in their research and teaching. My own research focuses on the interaction between marginal, rural regions and expanding empires in the medieval and post-medieval Eastern Mediterranean, using a combination of archaeological data, archival sources, and remotely-sensed imagery analysis.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
  • Publication
    New Data on Southern Euboean Landscapes: Results of the Norwegian Archaeological Survey in the Karystia
    (2021-01-01) Tankosić, Žarko; Laftsidis, Alexandros; Psoma, Aikaterini; Seifried, Rebecca M; Garyfallopoulos, Apostolos
    We present the results of a diachronic survey of the Katsaronio plain in the Karystia, southern Euboea, Greece. The project was organized under the aegis of the Norwegian Institute at Athens with a permit from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture under the official name of the Norwegian Archaeological Survey in the Karystia. Five years of fieldwork (2012–16) covered an area of 20 km2 in a large agricultural plain located about 5 km north-west of the town of Karystos. The survey identified 99 new findspots with a range of dates spanning from the Final Neolithic to Early Modern times. Here we present the collected prehistoric through Roman data, which represent the bulk of the acquired evidence. One of the notable features of the assemblage is the vast quantity of lithics that were recovered, numbering over 9,000 and consisting mainly of obsidian. Certain periods were absent from the evidence, such as post-Early Bronze Age prehistoric and Geometric, while others were represented with varying intensity. We offer initial interpretation of the patterns observable in the evidence in an attempt to reconstruct the past use and habitation of this part of Euboea.
  • Publication
    Seascapes and Fresh Water Management in Rural Greece: The Case of the Mani Peninsula, 1261–1821 CE
    (2019-01-01) Seifried, Rebecca M
    The Mani peninsula is a semi-arid landscape with few natural sources of fresh water, yet it supported a dense population during the Late Byzantine and Ottoman periods. This paper reviews the archaeological and historical evidence for water-management practices in Mani, concentrating on its domestic-scale hydraulic infrastructure (cisterns and saltpans) and the ports and harbours along its coasts. The data point to a critical shift in household-level social organization at the turn of the 18th century, underscoring the fact that people living in supposedly ‘peripheral’ regions like Mani nevertheless engaged in far-reaching networks of contact and exchange.
  • Publication
    Figures accompanying the manuscript "Mapping the Leigh Fermors’ Journey through the Deep Mani in 1951"
    (2021-01-01) Seifried, Rebecca M; Gardner, Chelsea A.M.
    Figures accompanying a manuscript co-authored by Rebecca M. Seifried, Chelsea A.M. Gardner, and Maria Tatum called "Mapping the Leigh Fermors’ Journey through the Deep Mani in 1951." Creators/authors for each figure are included in the figure list.
  • Publication
    Envisioning the Future of a Mature IR: A Midlife Assessment of ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst
    (2023-01-01) Jerome, Erin; Atwood, Thea P; Radik, Melanie; Seifried, Rebecca M
    The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries launched its institutional repository (IR), ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst, in July 2006. To date, the IR has over 57,000 works that have been downloaded over 25 million times all over the world. Over the past six years, the content of the IR has expanded from mainly postprints and Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) to include podcasts, datasets, open educational resources (OER), and other shareable open content that has no other logical home. As continued growth has pushed the limits of the software as designed, we decided to conduct a full assessment of the IR in order to qualitatively assess whether the IR meets the needs of staff and stakeholders. The assessment involved two parts: (1) evaluating the IR according to a set of defined criteria adapted from the University of Pennsylvania’s Platform Functionality Review, and (2) soliciting feedback from stakeholders, including those who edit journals or organize conferences (a functionality that is separate from other parts of the IR) and those who manage non-journal or conference collections within the IR. While stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the service provided by the Libraries and the IR provider, they also requested additional features that would make the platform more user-friendly, flexible, and responsive to new content types and customizations that extend beyond the hard limits of the software. Editors and collections administrators were particularly vocal in requesting additional features, such as the ability to accommodate languages other than English and support for big datasets. The assessment raises concerns about the current IR’s ability to adapt to changes in the scholarly publishing landscape that are on the horizon and provides critical data to inform the next iteration of the repository. Hopefully, others can apply this strategy to their own institutional repository in order to better prepare for a flexible, robust future that supports open scholarship.
  • Publication
    GIS data for mapping the Leigh Fermors’ journey through the southern Mani Peninsula, Greece, in 1951
    (2021-01-01) Seifried, Rebecca M; Gardner, Chelsea A.M.
    GIS data created by mapping Patrick (Paddy) and Joan Leigh Fermor's journey through the Mani peninsula in 1951. The zip file contains 6 layers (in GeoJSON format) that can be used to display least-cost models of portions of their route, the hikes we carried out to recreate them, and our final interpretation of their route from start to finish.
  • Publication
    Supporting Big Data Research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
    (2021-01-01) Atwood, Thea P.; Radik, Melanie; Seifried, Rebecca M.
    This project aimed to examine the research support needs of faculty who employ “big data” and data science methodologies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The study was conducted by the University Libraries and was part of a larger suite of parallel studies of big data researchers at institutions of higher education across the U.S. The study was coordinated by Ithaka S+R whose goal is to “help academic and cultural communities know what is coming next, learn from rigorous and well-designed research studies, and … improve their performance and further their missions.” Under the guidance of project coordinators from Ithaka S+R, librarians at 21 participating institutions—including Boston University, Northeastern, Texas A&M, and several University of California campuses—interviewed researchers across our campuses and compiled independent research results and recommendations for creating or enhancing local services and supports. In addition, participating institutions contributed their findings to a final capstone report by Ithaka S+R. The Ithaka capstone report provides a cumulative view of the evolving needs of big data researchers and includes recommendations for how the Libraries and campus research support structures can most effectively and strategically grow our support for this rapidly expanding area of research needs.
  • Publication
    Assessment Data for "Envisioning the Future of a Mature IR"
    (2022-01-01) Jerome, Erin; Atwood, Thea; Radik, Melanie; Seifried, Rebecca M
    This dataset contains two spreadsheets: 1) an in-depth functionality assessment of Digital Commons based on the University of Pennsylvania's "Platform Functionality Review" (; 2) a running list of required functionality for an institutional repository platform. The spreadsheets accompany a forthcoming book chapter, "Envisioning the Future of a Mature IR: A Midlife Assessment of ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst".
  • Publication
    (2021-01-01) Stewart, Deborah E. Brown; Seifried, Rebecca M.
    Deserted Villages: Perspectives from the Eastern Mediterranean is a collection of case studies examining the abandonment of rural settlements over the past millennium and a half, focusing on modern-day Greece with contributions from Turkey and the United States. Unlike other parts of the world, where deserted villages have benefited from decades of meticulous archaeological research, in the eastern Mediterranean better-known ancient sites have often overshadowed the nearby remains of more recently abandoned settlements. Yet as the papers in this volume show, the tide is finally turning toward a more engaged, multidisciplinary, and anthropologically informed archaeology of medieval and post-medieval rural landscapes. The inspiration for this volume was a two-part colloquium organized for the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in San Francisco. The sessions were sponsored by the Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group, a rag-tag team of archaeologists who set out in 2005 with the dual goals of promoting the study of later material and cultural heritage and opening publication venues to the fruits of this research. The introduction to the volume reviews the state of the field and contextualizes the archaeological understanding of abandonment and post-abandonment as ongoing processes. The nine, peer reviewed chapters, which have been substantially revised and expanded since the colloquium, offer unparalleled glimpses into how this process has played out in different places. In the first half, the studies focus on long-abandoned sites that have now entered the archaeological record. In the second half, the studies incorporate archival analysis and ethnographic interviews—alongside the archaeologists’ hyper-attention to material culture—to examine the processes of abandonment and post-abandonment in real time.
  • Publication
    The Stone-Built Palaiomaniatika of the Mani Peninsula, Greece
    (2021-01-01) Seifried, Rebecca M.
    There are over 170 stone-built settlements in the Mani Peninsula that scholars believe were inhabited from the Middle Byzantine period (eighth to thirteenth centuries AD) up until the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries. These enigmatic sites are known as palaiomaniatika, and roughly half of them are abandoned today, their massive stone walls in various stages of collapse and overgrown by olive trees and unchecked brush. This paper reviews the state of scholarship on the sites, outlining the typical characteristics of the vernacular architecture and discussing variations in settlement size and layout. A case study of the abandoned village of Koulouvades is offered to illustrate how targeted archaeological sampling and archival analysis can be fruitfully combined to illuminate the timeline of village abandonment. The final part of this paper is a call to action to archaeologists of the medieval and post-medieval eastern Mediterranean to adopt the theoretical lens of household archaeology. Through excavations of rural villages, data can be gathered that can answer questions about social process from a “bottom-up” perspective. Despite the body of art historical and architectural studies that have been carried out at the palaiomaniatika over the past 40 years, the lack of archaeological excavations limits the questions we can ask about daily life in these villages, as well as about the factors that contributed to their abandonment. Yet, they are an ideal candidate for household-scale excavations that would contribute to a wider understanding of social process in rural landscapes, not only in the Peloponnese but across the eastern Mediterranean as a whole.
  • Publication
    Review of Digital Historical Research on Southeast Europe and the Ottoman Space, edited by Dino Mujadžević (post-print)
    (2021-01-01) Seifried, Rebecca M
    Review of Dino Mujadžević (ed.), Digital Historical Research on Southeast Europe and the Ottoman Space, Studies on Language and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe Volume 35 (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2021).