Reviewing archaeology reading and writing through a digital perspective

The reason behind this post is a discussion group, which I had last week in class with my colleagues, about the paper “A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology” of Jeremy Huggett. I dare to say that it was one of the texts that puzzle us very much. The ensuing discussion was quite constructive. Personally, I picked out the piece refers to how to read and how is written archaeology in recent “digital” years.

The digital reading and writing through the internet have changed the way with people read and write their personal or working messages. The same happened with the academic community and the way that they publish their researches and their results. Most of them published in digital form and a limited number of printed copies. The same happened in the archaeology field, which was, already, familiar with the use of digital tools, of course. However, it is different to make use of some specific devices and software helping archaeologists during the excavation process rather than to change the way of data and findings recording and the presentation modes of results. Most of them published in digital form and a limited number of printed copies. The same happened in the archaeology field, which was, img_0119already, familiar with the use of digital tools, of course. However, it is different to make use of some specific devices and software helping archaeologists during the excavation process rather than to change the way of data and findings recording and the presentation modes of results. In this case, the internet is acting as a new medium of publication. This is something that concerns many archaeologists as for the future of the field.

The web, as one of the most popular means of information and communication today, could give a new impetus to the relationship between the archaeological science and individuals. Designing effective online public archaeology, it should be involved some considerations of how historical reasoning is best taught and how to form the information structure which will have this application, regardless of medium. Hypertext, which is used on the internet, allows the readers to build their own associations between the pieces of information. This information could be data collection sheets, datasets, images, videos, color GIS maps, 3d laser scans or some of the supplementary texts.digital-archaeology-collage As a result, the readers who participate more meaningfully in the process of interpretation become empowered. There is a real potential for public participation and “boundaries erosion” between the specialists and the people. Moreover, through the internet, there is access to specialised data that are able to provide well-educated and centre of knowledge of their own which complete with completely archaeological sources. This could be described as the networked structure of archaeological knowledge. 

It is clear that while the field of archaeology has embraced the digital, there is still room for improvement. The contact with digital tools could help archaeologists to further improve their work methods and their communication with the public.  In order to achieve this, a new path could be taken which could improve and modernise the way that archaeologists work and think. The result could be that people are brought closer to their past.

 

Readings:

Costopoulos, An., Digital Archaeology is here, http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fdigh.2016.00004/full,  Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Denning, K., ‘The Storm of Progress’ and Archaeology for an Online Public, http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.15.1, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Hodder, I., Archaeology and global information systems, Internet Archaeology, http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.6.1, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Holtorf, C., The future of electronic scholarship, Internet Archaeology, http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.15.11, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Huggett, J., A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology, https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/opar.2014.1.issue-1/opar-2015-0002/opar-2015-0002.xml,  Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Huggett, J., Let’s talk about digital archaeology, https://introspectivedigitalarchaeology.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/lets-talk-about-digital-archaeology/, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016