[Update] The photo gallery is now online again. Fingers crossed this version will last!

Visitors to our website over the past few days will have noticed that all of our websites were either very slow or even unreachable. Some of you may have seen an triumphant error message stating that there had been a database connection error. Well, our poor server has become rather overloaded - one of the consequences of being a popular desitination on the web for all things archaeological..!

A closer look at the load on our server pointed towards the scripts that run our photo gallery. Unfortunately, the database that the scripts connect to had become corrupted, and the tables had inflated to a rather large 2GB, and MySQL (the database engine that runs our websites) began to consume a lot of RAM (memory). In fact, all physical memory on the server was being used, as well as nearly 2GB of swap (virtual memory). This caused the whole server to essentially grind to a halt. For the server-literate folks out there, our server load average peaked at 9302%...

For the time being, I have had to temporarily close our photo gallery while I try and fix it. Since this is one of the most popular sections of our website, I am hoping to return to normal service as soon as I can. I will post here when normal service resumes.