• Collaborative Digital Publishing in Archaeology: Data, Workflows, and Books in the Age of Logistics

    William Caraher (see profile)
    Archaeology--Data processing, Scholarly publishing
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    12th annual IEMA Conference Critical Archaeology in a Digital Age
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Buffalo - IEMA
    Conf. Loc.:
    Buffalo, NY
    Conf. Date:
    April 6-7, 2019
    Digital archaeology, Academic publishing
    Permanent URL:
    In the 21st century, digital practices are transforming both archaeological practices in the field and the concept publication. The fragmentation of archaeological knowledge as digital data produces portable, sharable, remixable, and transformable publications that are less stable and less definitive than their predecessors in print. As a result, while final publications continue to appear, they are joined by published data of various kinds – from GPS and total station coordinates to digitally generated point clouds, photographs and videos, and XRF results. Project are also more invested than ever in creating unique ways to understand, interpret, and engage their site. These collaborations have eroded the conceptual and disciplinary barriers between field work, analysis and publication. It is possible, for example, to publish from the trenchside or survey unit and to create definitive digital publications that are modular and open to revision. The growing permeability between the processes of field work, analysis, and publishing, has both the potential to transform the concept of publication in archaeology (as well as across the humanities) and marks the rise of a new intellectual model for the production of knowledge. If 20th century archaeology followed the linear logic of the assembly line and culminated in the final publication, 21st century archaeology draws on the disperse efficiency sought in the contemporary focus on logistics. Logistics, with its emphasis on streamlining the movement of goods, data, and people, offers a useful, if problematic paradigm, for a discipline increasingly committed to finding new ways to make archaeological knowledge accessible and usable to a broader constituency.
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago


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