Citing CARD

Any publications resulting from use of the database should cite it following SAA (Society for American Archaeology) guidelines. Please note the version of CARD used as this changes with programming upgrades:

Versions of CARD

A Note about Security

CARD data includes precise locational data for archaeological sites and this feature is blocked for the general user to a limit of 1:2,000,000 scale. Approved users have access to all sample data as well as upload/download features. Email to request researcher status.

Accessing CARD Data Via Tabs

Card 2.0 is divided into four main data tabs on the banner ribbon: Locations, Sites, Samples, and References. Each section lets you browse and filter records of that type. For example, use the Locations section if you want the overview of a particular location and it's contents. In this section you'll find aggregated information about everything within a location, like the number of sites and samples it contains. Similarly with Sites, you see information about the site, including the number of samples in each site. Clicking on an individual site shows more information, including the actual list of samples at the site, the location it's situated in, its coordinates, and anything known about it. The Samples section will let you find detailed information about individual samples. The References section allows you to search by and display bibliographic source data.

Accessing CARD Data Via the Search Bar

Alternately, you can search for data via the search bar located in the upper right of each of the tabs. The search function presents all possible field categories as you type. Use this feature if you are searching for a specific parameter or for a list of dates defined by some value. The search box on the Samples page searches all the data fields in the database. For convenience we have anticipated search fields in a drop down menu that appears when you click on the chevron in the search box.

Downloading CARD Data

Searches via the Samples tab. generate lists that can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet via the button beside the search box. There are no limits on data downloads for registered users.

The Map Interface

The Map tab presents all CARD data in a scalable global map interface. Dates are presented as dots which reveal summary data when clicked. It is not currently possible to search for dates via the map interface, but this is a planned programming upgrade

Uploading New Data to CARD

Start by downloading the Spreadsheet Template. The formatted excel spreadsheet should appear in your "downloads" folder. The first worksheet contains the headings for the data fields. Add data for each date in a separate row; there is no limit to the number of dates per upload. The second worksheet in the file contains instructions on the nature of the data required for each field. Not all data fields are mandatory. Once your data is added to the template, you can either email it to for upload or import it directly if you have Administrator access. As we adjust programming features, we frequently update the template, so please download a fresh file each time you upload data.

Please note that there are format restrictions in some data fields: - Lab Numbers must be in the format of lab code-hyphen-sample number (i.e. AAA-###). - Longitude values in North America (W) are designated as negative numbers (i.e. if the site is in the western hemisphere, the longitude value will be negative). - Data on country, province/state, and county are no longer required. Our programming derive these data from Google Maps.

Editing CARD Data

Data can be editing in two ways. Existing data can be edited in a downloaded spreadsheet and then uploaded back into the system. This is useful for correcting batches of dates. Sample data can be edited by choosing the Edit button on any Sample page for a single date. Locational data can be edited by choosing the Edit button on any Site page for a single site and grabbing/moving the map pin for the site. Note that the background map can toggle between map and satellite imagery.

Levels of Access to CARD

There are three levels of access to CARD. Anyone can access the system and view the database, although locational data are obscured. Site locations are projected randomly within a 1,000,000 m radius of the actual location. Public access does not permit uploading or downloading. Registered users can see site locations accurately, download data and submit upload files to the site administrator. Administrators can edit the site, add and delete dates and data. If you are interested in becoming a registered user or an administrator, please contact You must be affiliated with an academic institution, firm, or government or research body [including Indigenous governments]) to gain access.


CARD contains known errors in various fields. The majority are locational (incorrect coordinates; note that coordinate errors generate mistakes in other locational fields such as state/province), or in lab or site codes. The latter two forms are significant (about 4000 dates) fatal errors that normally disqualify any date from appearing in the system. However, as we correct the legacy database, we are posting dates with both lab and site code errors using the conventions LUNK-#### (Laboratory Unknown) and SUNK-#### (Site Unknown).

Reporting Errors

CARD contains errors in both sample data and site locations. if you are aware of errors, please notify us at We encourage users to ask for administrator status to fix errors. Note that locational errors (errors of the coordinate data for a site) can place sites in the wrong political jurisdiction, which can only be corrected by relocating the site.