Our purpose in this session is to estimate the viability and applicability of advanced technologies (in recording, management and/or communication of cultural heritage) for archaeology in a collaborative environment working together with communities.
Hi-specification technologies are increasingly becoming an essential element of archaeological recording, interpretation and dissemination, with previously expensive equipment such as laser scanners becoming cheaper. In addition to this, there has been a rapid development in low-cost technological solutions, with tools such as photogrammetry, Reflectance Transformation Imaging, 3D printing, and mobile device apps becoming popular amongst archaeologists. These technologies offer substantial improvements to the ways that archaeologists and communities can work together.
In light of these new opportunities for affordable technologies, the relationship between communities, cultural heritage organisations and universities has become increasingly pertinent. Budgetary constraints are becoming increasingly significant, and we are reminded on an almost daily basis of the importance of incorporating successful collaborations into the management of archaeology. These projects often use technologies for the recording of material culture and landscapes, the interpretation of data, and the communication of ideas. Methodologies for technology use are often decided along the way, and most projects have an emphasis on expertise remaining with those providing the equipment. There is an opportunity, with new technologies that adapt and adopt existing equipment, such as computational photography methods with open source software options, to transfer knowledge of highly sophisticated technologies over to communities.
Many in academia are calling for increasing forms of engagement between researchers and communities, and this session is an opportunity to discuss this move towards long-lasting relationships between communities and archaeologists within which technology is a central factor. Examples might include projects that have used web-based communication to maintain contact with a community, or projects that have relied heavily on open source solutions for recording.
Although the use of new technologies such as non-intrusive recording techniques, social media, can facilitate this type of engagement, this session welcomes submissions addressing legal, ethical and communication issues. We encourage participants to critically reflect upon their projects’ use of technological solutions, the many forms of engagement, and the impact of these approaches on our vision of the past.