Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future

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Mobilizing the Past is a collection of 20 articles that explore the use and impact of mobile digital technology in archaeological field practice. The detailed case studies present in this volume range from drones in the Andes to iPads at Pompeii, digital workflows in the American Southwest, and examples of how bespoke, DIY, and commercial software provide solutions and craft novel challenges for field archaeologists. The range of projects and contexts ensures that Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future is far more than a state-of-the-field manual or technical handbook. Instead, the contributors embrace the growing spirit of critique present in digital archaeology. This critical edge, backed by real projects, systems, and experiences, gives the book lasting value as both a glimpse into present practices as well as the anxieties and enthusiasm associated with the most recent generation of mobile digital tools.

MtP_Cover_3dirt.pngThis book emerged from a workshop funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities held in 2015 at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. The workshop brought together over 20 leading practitioners of digital archaeology in the U.S. for a weekend of conversation. The papers in this volume reflect the discussions at this workshop with significant additional content. Starting with an expansive introduction and concluding with a series of reflective papers, this volume illustrates how tablets, connectivity, sophisticated software, and powerful computers have transformed field practices and offer potential for a radically transformed discipline.

Edited by Erin Walcek Averett, Jody Michael Gordon, and Derek B. Counts
With additional contributions by Rebecca Bria, Bridget Buxton, William Caraher, J. Andrew Dufton, Steven J. R. Ellis, Samuel B. Fee, Shawn Fehrenbach, Eric C. Kansa, Morag M. Kersel, Marcelo Castro López, Christopher F. Motz, Brandon R. Olson, Eric E. Poehler, Adam Rabinowitz, Ted Roberts, Shawn Ross, Matthew Sayre, Adela Sobotkova, Matthew Spigelman, John Wallrodt, and Steven Wernke.

 Download the book or individual chapters either from this website (below) or with full metadata at a stable URL from Digital Commons at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A paper copy of the book is available at Amazon.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Mobile Computing in Archaeology: Exploring and Interpreting Current Practices
Jody Michael Gordon, Erin Walcek Averett, and Derek B. Counts
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1.1. Why Paperless: Technology and Changes in Archaeological Practice, 1996–2016
John Wallrodt
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1.2. Are We Ready for New (Digital) Ways to Record Archaeological Fieldwork? A Case Study from Pompeii
Steven J. R. Ellis
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1.3. Sangro Valley and the Five (Paperless) Seasons: Lessons on Building Effective Digital Recording Workflows for Archaeological Fieldwork
Christopher F. Motz
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1.4. DIY Digital Workflows on the Athienou Archaeological Project, Cyprus
Jody Michael Gordon, Erin Walcek Averett, Derek B. Counts, Kyosung Koo, and Michael K. Toumazou
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1.5. Enhancing Archaeological Data Collection and Student Learning with a Mobile Relational Database
Rebecca Bria and Kathryn E. DeTore
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1.6. Digital Archaeology in the Rural Andes: Problems and Prospects
Matthew Sayre
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1.7. Digital Pompeii: Dissolving the Fieldwork-Library Research Divide
Eric E. Poehler
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2.1. Reflections on Custom Mobile App Development for Archaeological Data Collection
Samuel B. Fee
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2.2. The Things We Can Do with Pictures: Image-Based Modeling and Archaeology
Brandon R. Olson
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2.3 Beyond the Basemap: Multiscalar Survey through Aerial Photogrammetry in the Andes
Steven A. Wernke, Gabriela Oré, Carla Hernández, Aurelio Rodríguez, Abel Traslaviña, and Giancarlo Marcone
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2.4. An ASV (Autonomous Surface Vehicle) for Archaeology: The Pladypos at Caesarea Maritima, Israel
Bridget Buxton, Jacob Sharvit, Dror Planer, Nikola Mišković, and John Hale
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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, and Justin St. P. Walsh
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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, and Parker VanValkenburgh
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3.3. CSS for Success? Some Thoughts on Adapting the Browser-Based Archaeological Recording Kit (ARK) for Mobile Recording
J. Andrew Dufton
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3.4. The Development of the PaleoWay Digital Workflows in the Context of Archaeological Consulting
Matthew Spigelman, Ted Roberts, and Shawn Fehrenbach
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4.1. Slow Archaeology: Technology, Efficiency, and Archaeological Work
William Caraher
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4.2. Click Here to Save the Past
Eric C. Kansa
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5.1. Response: Living a Semi-digital Kinda Life
Morag M. Kersel
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5.2. Response: Mobilizing (Ourselves) for a Critical Digital Archaeology
Adam Rabinowitz
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Some open access content that complements this book:

J. Huggett, “Challenging Digital Archaeology.” Open Archaeology 1 (2015): 79-85.

J. Huggett, “A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology,” Open Archaeology 1 (2015): 86-95.

Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Ethan Watrall, eds. Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration. Cotsen Digital Archaeology 1. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology 2011. 

Brandon R. Olson and William R. Caraher, Visions of Substance: 3D Imaging in Mediterranean Archaeology. Grand Forks, ND: The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota 2015.

Christopher H. Roosevelt, Peter Cobb, Emanuel Moss, Brandon R. Olson & Sinan Ünlüsoy, “Excavation is Destruction Digitization: Advances in Archaeological Practice,” Journal of Field Archaeology 40.3 (2015), 325-346.