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5.2. Response: Mobilizing (Ourselves) For A Critical Digital Archaeology, Adam Rabinowitz 2016 University of Texas at Austin

5.2. Response: Mobilizing (Ourselves) For A Critical Digital Archaeology, Adam Rabinowitz

Mobilizing the Past

Mobile platforms, paperless recording systems, and High Density Survey and Measurement techniques are a new frontier for archaeological documentation. But like all frontiers, the borderland at the intersection of the material and digital offers both opportunity and unexpected hazards. This response calls for a critical perspective on digital methods and approaches in archaeology, and examines the other contributions to the volume from three perspectives: celebratory, reflexive, and cautionary. These perspectives are framed within three manifestos that praise, ponder, or criticize the effects of new technologies—and the historical, social, or economic contexts of those technologies—on their users. The reader ...


5.1. Response: Living A Semi-Digital Kinda Life, Morag M. Kersel 2016 DePaul University

5.1. Response: Living A Semi-Digital Kinda Life, Morag M. Kersel

Mobilizing the Past

The following observations draw on my personal experience as an archaeologist working in the Eastern Mediterranean who has dabbled in the digital world. In considering the papers in this volume, I reflect on what it means to “live a digital life” in field archaeology. I argue we are living a “semi-digital kinda life” (à la Third Eye Blind, the US rock band formed in the early 1990s) where many of us are part paper and part digital, which I contend is not a bad state of affairs. In assessing our half in/half out digital archaeology, I speculate that new ...


4.2. Click Here To Save The Past, Eric C. Kansa 2016 Open Context

4.2. Click Here To Save The Past, Eric C. Kansa

Mobilizing the Past

This chapter owes much to the trenchant criticism of Internet utopianism offered by Evgeny Morozov in his influential book, To Save Everything, Click Here (2014). As such, this essay reflects on some issues in the social and professional context of digital archaeology that rarely see public discussion. Digital archaeology is profoundly shaped by an institutional landscape that demands the commoditization, marketing, and branding of scholarship “as a service.” These forces make it extraordinarily difficult to sustain substantive and reflective intellectual engagement in our increasingly digitized discipline. As a strategy to overcome these issues, this contribution highlights why digital engagement requires ...


4.1. Slow Archaeology: Technology, Efficiency, And Archaeological Work, William Caraher 2016 University of North Dakota

4.1. Slow Archaeology: Technology, Efficiency, And Archaeological Work, William Caraher

Mobilizing the Past

Slow archaeology situates contemporary, digital archaeological practice both in the historical tradition of the modern discipline of archaeology and within a discourse informed by calls for Taylorist efficiency. Rather than rejecting the use of digital tools, slow archaeology calls for archaeology to embrace a spirit of critical engagement with the rapidly changing technological landscape in the field. This contribution draws upon lessons from the popular "slow moment" and academic discussions of modernity and speed to consider the impact that the rapid adoption of digital tools has on archaeological practice and knowledge production. Slow archaeology pays particular attention to how digital ...


3.4. The Development Of The Paleoway Digital Workflows In The Context Of Archaeological Consulting, Matthew Spigelman, Ted Roberts, Shawn Fehrenbach 2016 PaleoWest Archaeology

3.4. The Development Of The Paleoway Digital Workflows In The Context Of Archaeological Consulting, Matthew Spigelman, Ted Roberts, Shawn Fehrenbach

Mobilizing the Past

PaleoWest Archaeology began to develop technology and methods for digital data collection in 2010, and quickly became the first archaeological consulting firm in the United State to adopt an all-digital workflow. The initial phase of research and development of this workflow coincided with a period of rapid software and hardware development, most notably the launch of the first- and second-generation iPads. The digital archaeological toolkit we assembled was used to collect survey data from tens of thousands of acres, document thousands of isolated artifacts, and record hundreds of archaeological sites throughout the American Southwest and elsewhere. This experience informed a ...


3.3. Css For Success? Some Thoughts On Adapting The Browser-Based Archaeological Recording Kit (Ark) For Mobile Recording, J. Andrew Dufton 2016 Brown University

3.3. Css For Success? Some Thoughts On Adapting The Browser-Based Archaeological Recording Kit (Ark) For Mobile Recording, J. Andrew Dufton

Mobilizing the Past

The Archaeological Recording Kit (ARK) is an open-source system for flexible, web-based archaeological data management. As new advances in mobile technology have changed the way archaeologists think about data collection, ARK has evolved to meet the needs of on-site methodologies. This chapter outlines the history of ARK development and explores some possible trajectories for adaptation of the system to mobile workflows. Examples from the commercial sector, academic research, and public outreach demonstrate the efficiency of customizing the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) controlling ARK’s web interface to facilitate tablet recording. Increasing global access to mobile broadband networks will make web-based ...


3.2. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Cooperative Deployment Of A Generalized, Archaeology-Specific Field Data Collection System, Adela Sobotkova, Shawn A. Ross, Brian Ballsun-Stanton, Andrew Fairbairn, Jessica Thompson, Parker VanValkenburgh 2016 Macquarie University

3.2. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Cooperative Deployment Of A Generalized, Archaeology-Specific Field Data Collection System, Adela Sobotkova, Shawn A. Ross, Brian Ballsun-Stanton, Andrew Fairbairn, Jessica Thompson, Parker Vanvalkenburgh

Mobilizing the Past

The Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems (FAIMS) Project is an Australian, university-based initiative developing a generalized, open-source mobile data collection platform that can be customized for diverse archaeological activities. Three field directors report their experiences adapting FAIMS software to projects in Turkey, Malawi, and Peru, highlighting three themes: (1) the transition from paper to digital recording has upfront costs with backend pay-off, (2) the transition involves decisions and tradeoffs that archaeologists and technologists need to make together, and (3) digital recording has both short- and long-term benefits. In the short-term, project directors reported efficient acquisition of richer, more accurate, data ...


3.1. Cástulo In The 21st Century: A Test Site For A New Digital Information System, Marcelo Castro López, Francisco Arias de Haro, Libertad Serrano Lara, Ana L. Martínez Carrillo, Manuel Serrano Araque, Justin St. P. Walsh 2016 University of Jaén

3.1. Cástulo In The 21st Century: A Test Site For A New Digital Information System, Marcelo Castro LóPez, Francisco Arias De Haro, Libertad Serrano Lara, Ana L. MartíNez Carrillo, Manuel Serrano Araque, Justin St. P. Walsh

Mobilizing the Past

The site of Cástulo, located near Linares (in the province of Jaén, Andalusia, Spain), was continuously occupied from prehistory through the sixteenth century c.e. The site offers a rich archaeological history, and it is currently under study by the Institute for Iberian Archaeological Research’s interdisciplinary project, Forvm MMX. Wanting to incorporate traditional archaeological excavation and recording methods with new technology, the project created a new system of archaeological documentation, called Imilké. The system was created with several concepts in mind, including the immediate transmission of archaeological data from the site to a database and the ability to allow ...


2.4. An Asv (Autonomous Surface Vehicle) For Archaeology: The Pladypos At Caesarea Maritima, Israel, Bridget Buxton, Jacob Sharvit, Dror Planer, Nikola Mišković, John Hale 2016 University of Rhode Island

2.4. An Asv (Autonomous Surface Vehicle) For Archaeology: The Pladypos At Caesarea Maritima, Israel, Bridget Buxton, Jacob Sharvit, Dror Planer, Nikola MišKović, John Hale

Mobilizing the Past

With the advent of new digital site recording technologies, archaeologists must manage spatial and visual datasets that have grown far beyond the capacity of last century’s paper notebooks. Turning to purely digital recording systems (“going paperless”) in underwater archaeology presents a different set of challenges from terrestrial archaeology and requires a specialized toolkit. The Pladypos prototype, an autonomous surface vehicle, responds to the need for underwater archaeological site mapping tools to be simple, robust, highly portable, and—where appropriate—to coordinate its operations effectively with human divers and tablet-based digital recording systems. Over several days in 2014, the Pladypos ...


2.3 Beyond The Basemap: Multiscalar Survey Through Aerial Photogrammetry In The Andes, Steven A. Wernke, Gabriela Oré, Carla Hernández, Aurelio Rodríguez, Abel Traslaviña, Giancarlo Marcone 2016 Vanderbilt University

2.3 Beyond The Basemap: Multiscalar Survey Through Aerial Photogrammetry In The Andes, Steven A. Wernke, Gabriela Oré, Carla HernáNdez, Aurelio RodríGuez, Abel TraslaviñA, Giancarlo Marcone

Mobilizing the Past

The revolutionary capabilities of digital aerial photogrammetry open new avenues for archaeological research design, cultural heritage management, and spatial visualization and analysis. The low cost and high speed of aerial photogrammetry democratize and accelerate both the production and distribution of high-resolution digital 2D and 3D spatial representations of archaeological features, sites, and landscapes. With cultural patrimony disappearing at alarming rates around the world, the adoption of these techniques is an urgent priority. We review our methods and experiences using 3D photogrammetric registry at several scales in the diverse environmental conditions of the Andean region, using an array of inexpensive aerial ...


2.2. The Things We Can Do With Pictures: Image-Based Modeling And Archaeology, Brandon R. Olson 2016 Metropolitan State University of Denver

2.2. The Things We Can Do With Pictures: Image-Based Modeling And Archaeology, Brandon R. Olson

Mobilizing the Past

Since the wide-spread availability of cost efficient image-based modeling software emerged five years ago, the discipline of archaeology has seen a proliferation of all things digital. The implementation of 3D modeling specifically is well attested as evidenced initially by a wave of peer-reviewed studies testing the technology for archaeological purposes, which has then been followed by colloquia, conferences panels, workshops, and publications focusing on the technology’s analytical benefits. It remains evident that although digital archaeology is not a new development, it now has a heretofore unpresented degree of staying power. The intention here is to present a critical analysis ...


2.1. Reflections On Custom Mobile App Development For Archaeological Data Collection, Samuel B. Fee 2016 Washington and Jefferson College

2.1. Reflections On Custom Mobile App Development For Archaeological Data Collection, Samuel B. Fee

Mobilizing the Past

With the widespread adoption of tablet computers in 2010, archaeologists quickly began to envision new ways of completing traditional tasks. The technology seemed particularly well-suited for replacing the paper-and-pencil approach to data collection. In 2011, a custom mobile application—PKapp—was developed for the 2012 field season of the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project in Cyprus. That application illuminated numerous possibilities for digital workflow in archaeological field research. Subsequently, mobile devices and software development tools have improved, making it easier to develop custom applications for data collection. Open-source HTML5 standards can ensure the software runs on any device regardless of platform, a ...


1.7. Digital Pompeii: Dissolving The Fieldwork-Library Research Divide, Eric E. Poehler 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst

1.7. Digital Pompeii: Dissolving The Fieldwork-Library Research Divide, Eric E. Poehler

Mobilizing the Past

The advent of new forms of digital archaeological practice is revolutionizing the ways in which archaeologists work in the field. We have already witnessed the first part of the revolution, which has transformed archaeological methods of data collection and how such data are accessed and deployed in the field. In the second act of this revolution, published scholarship in digital form will be as easy to implement in the field as the trowel, effectively (if theoretically) dissolving the spatio-temporal division between fieldwork and library work. This paper describes two examples of this dissolution of the fieldwork-library divide, one archival in ...


1.6. Digital Archaeology In The Rural Andes: Problems And Prospects, Matthew Sayre 2016 University of South Dakota

1.6. Digital Archaeology In The Rural Andes: Problems And Prospects, Matthew Sayre

Mobilizing the Past

This chapter explores the social context of digital archaeology conducted in a developing nation, with an emphasis on the archaeological project at Chavín de Huántar, in Peru. One might argue that the relevance, audience, and benefits of digital archaeology are primarily designed for and associated with wealthy universities, but this chapter attempts to demonstrate that digital archaeology is relevant to a broader public and community audience than just academics in the global north. Digital methods are able to be both relevant and beneficial to local communities. These communities, however, are not always naturally included stakeholders in these conversations, and this ...


1.5. Enhancing Archaeological Data Collection And Student Learning With A Mobile Relational Database, Rebecca Bria, Kathryn E. DeTore 2016 Vanderbilt University

1.5. Enhancing Archaeological Data Collection And Student Learning With A Mobile Relational Database, Rebecca Bria, Kathryn E. Detore

Mobilizing the Past

In 2011, the Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológico Regional Ancash (PIARA) inaugurated an archaeological field school that employed a comprehensive digital data collection protocol. Students learned to record data on iPads using our customized relational databases for excavation, human skeletal analysis, and artifact classification. The databases integrated digital media, such as vector drawings and annotated photos. In a final research project, the students used the tablet system to analyze excavation contexts and artifacts, visualize relationships between the data, conduct literature reviews, and present their findings. This chapter discusses how students develop a greater comprehension of archaeological concepts and stronger research skills ...


1.4. Diy Digital Workflows On The Athienou Archaeological Project, Cyprus, Jody Michael Gordon, Erin Walcek Averett, Derek B. Counts, Kyosung Koo, Michael K. Toumazou 2016 Wentworth Institute of Technology

1.4. Diy Digital Workflows On The Athienou Archaeological Project, Cyprus, Jody Michael Gordon, Erin Walcek Averett, Derek B. Counts, Kyosung Koo, Michael K. Toumazou

Mobilizing the Past

For the last 25 years, the Athienou Archaeological Project (AAP) has conducted pedestrian survey and excavations of domestic, religious, and funerary sites in the Malloura Valley on Cyprus. To enhance the project’s research goals, excavation methods, and pedagogical mission, AAP has recognized the utility of thoughtfully integrating emergent technologies into the excavation process and has acknowledged the importance of acquainting students with such technologies. Indeed, AAP has participated in the transition from handwritten notebooks to born-digital, tablet-based recording. In 2011 AAP was among the earliest projects to embrace the “paperless” archaeology revolution that is quickly becoming standard in field ...


1.3. Sangro Valley And The Five (Paperless) Seasons: Lessons On Building Effective Digital Recording Workflows For Archaeological Fieldwork, Christopher F. Motz 2016 University of Cincinnati

1.3. Sangro Valley And The Five (Paperless) Seasons: Lessons On Building Effective Digital Recording Workflows For Archaeological Fieldwork, Christopher F. Motz

Mobilizing the Past

Since 2011 the Sangro Valley Project (Italy) has employed a custom-built paperless recording system with iPads and FileMaker at its core. This paper summarizes the evolution of the project’s paperless system and presents lessons learned during five seasons of use (2011–2015) and during the author’s work with two other projects: the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (Italy), and the Say Kah Archaeological Project (Belize). It identifies problems commonly encountered during the implementation of paperless systems and offers recommendations for avoiding or fixing them. Many of these problems are not unique to projects with digital recording systems ...


1.2. Are We Ready For New (Digital) Ways To Record Archaeological Fieldwork? A Case Study From Pompeii, Steven J. R. Ellis 2016 University of Cincinnati

1.2. Are We Ready For New (Digital) Ways To Record Archaeological Fieldwork? A Case Study From Pompeii, Steven J. R. Ellis

Mobilizing the Past

Beyond outlining some of the experiences and outcomes of the conversion of the University of Cincinnati’s excavations at Pompeii to a “paperless” project, particularly through the highly publicized adoption of iPads to record our archaeological fieldwork, this paper is about our discipline’s polarized response to such developments. In particular, it aims to set the pessimism about paperless methods, held by a sizable demographic, within a wider socio-academic context. Much of it is about admitting we have a problem: that is, a disciplinary consternation for changes to the ways we record data and produce knowledge in the field. More ...


1.1. Why Paperless: Technology And Changes In Archaeological Practice, 1996–2016, John Wallrodt 2016 University of Cincinnati

1.1. Why Paperless: Technology And Changes In Archaeological Practice, 1996–2016, John Wallrodt

Mobilizing the Past

The past 20 years have witnessed a slow march toward complete digitization of archaeological field data. In this paper, I assess the last two decades of academic archaeological fieldwork based on my experience with field projects in the Mediterranean, and propose a historical context for the adoption of paperless recording in the field. Drawing on the examples of the Troy excavations, the Pompeii Archeological Research Project: Porta Stabia, and the Kea Regional Archaeological Project, I review trends that include the commoditization of hardware, the early adoption of new hardware by specialists, the incorporation of specialist data into site-wide datasets, and ...


0.2. Mobile Computing In Archaeology: Exploring And Interpreting Current Practices, Jody Michael Gordon, Erin Walcek Averett, Derek B. Counts 2016 Wentworth Institute of Technology

0.2. Mobile Computing In Archaeology: Exploring And Interpreting Current Practices, Jody Michael Gordon, Erin Walcek Averett, Derek B. Counts

Mobilizing the Past

Since 2010, a range of mobile and internet-connected tablet computing devices (e.g., iPads) have been integrated into archaeological practice, with projects experimenting with new approaches to documenting, interpreting, and publishing material culture. The rapid pace of this change has led to a tension in the discipline as archaeologists have begun to realize how creating and manipulating born-digital data could fundamentally alter archaeological knowledge production. We are thus at a critical time for archaeology as it moves from a paper-based discipline to an increasingly digital one. There is a growing sense that the change is good, but that it must ...


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