Archaeological practices and knowledge work in the digital environment @ CAA 2021

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Tue, 01/26/2021 - 15:32

Roundtable at Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) 2021 conference  held June 14-18, 2021 organised by Costis Dallas (University of Toronto), Suzie Thomas (University of Helsinki), Eleftheria Paliou (University of Cologne), Rimvydas Laužikas (Vilnius University), Isto Huvila (Uppsala University)


At the time of rapid development of novel computer applications for archaeology, there is an increasing need to critical understanding of their implications to the practices of knowledge production in and about archaeology (cf. Lambourne et al., 2014; Selhofer & Geser, 2015; Geser & Selhofer, 2014; Geser & Niccolucci, 2016; Huvila & Huggett, 2018). In-depth insights into how digital tools and methods impact the making and use of archaeological knowledge are a key to a better understanding of how the use of digital technologies influence archaeological work and thinking and of being able to steer the use of computer applications to improve the quality of archaeological work. There is an emerging body of work in the field ranging from the studies of field practices (e.g. Dell’Unto et al., 2017) to collections based research (e.g. Khazraee, 2019; Faniel et al., 2018), and use of digital archaeological tools and information in different branches of the society from education and public presentation to community archaeology and land development (e.g. Laužikas et al., 2018; Foka et al., 2017; Huvila, 2017) in the context of individual research projects, national initiatives, as well as EU funded projects and frameworks such as CARARE, Europeana Cloud, ARIADNEplus, ARKWORK, SEADDA and DARIAH and other multi-national efforts like in the work of the European Archaeological Council.

The session organised under the auspices of the COST Action Archaeological practices and knowledge work in the digital environment (ARKWORK) invites paper proposals on evidence-based and reflective studies of digital practices and knowledge work in archaeology relating but not limited to how material cultural heritage is being digitised, preserved and made available, how archaeological remains are documented, how the documentation and archaeological collections are used to create knowledge on archaeology and the human past, and how the knowledge the broad range of stakeholders from land development and academia to tourism and education to do their work from complementary disciplinary perspectives. The session is open for proposals by archaeologists working with digital tools reflecting their use of technologies, developers of digital applications conducting user studies and evaluations and scholars from fields, including but not limited to, museum studies, sociology, ethnography, information studies, science and technology studies and beyond conducting evidence-based studies of digital archaeological practices and knowledge work.


Dell’Unto, N., Landeschi, G., Apel, J., & Poggi, G. (2017). 4D recording at the trowel’s edge: Using three-dimensional simulation platforms to support field interpretation. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 12, 632–645.

Faniel, I. M., Austin, A., Kansa, E., Kansa, S. W., France, P., Jacobs, J., Boytner, R., & Yakel, E. (2018). Beyond the archive: Bridging data creation and reuse in archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice, 6(2), 105–116.

Foka, A., Katerelou, A., Kelaidis, K., & Xekalaki, G. (2017). Digital archaeology? greece on focustools, methodologies and trends. Archaeology & Arts.

Geser, G., & Niccolucci, F. (2016). D2.4: Final Innovation Agenda and Action Plan. ARIADNE.

Geser, G., & Selhofer, H. (2014). D2.1 First Report on Userś Needs. Prato: ARIADNE.

Huvila, I. (2017). Land developers and archaeological information. Open Information Science, 1(1), 71–90.

Huvila, I., & Huggett, J. (2018). Archaeological practices, knowledge work and digitalisation. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology, 1(1), 88–100.

Khazraee, E. (2019). Assembling narratives: Tensions in collaborative construction of knowledge. JASIST, 70(4), 325–337.

Lambourne, G., Stoakes, L., Cassar, M., Balen, K. V., Rhisiart, M., Thomas, M., Miller, R., & Burnell, L. (2014). Strategic Research Agenda. Tech. rep., JPI Cultural Heritage and Global Change, Rome.

Laužikas, R., Dallas, C., Thomas, S., Kelpšienė, I., Huvila, I., Luengo, P., Nobre, H., Toumpouri, M., & Vaitkevičius, V. (2018). Archaeological knowledge production and global communities: Boundaries and structure of the field. Open Archaeology, 4(1), 350–364.

Selhofer, H., & Geser, G. (2015). D2.2 Second Report on Users’ Needs. Salzburg: ARIADNE.