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Pentandria 1,piece Jigsaw Puzzle Birding Extremadura All Regions 6. Birding Australia 2 All Regions Reference Collections Management Reference: Usually dispatched within weeks Details. About this book The author argues against progressive accounts of fieldwork and instead places it in its broader intellectual context to critically examine the relationship between theoretical paradigms and everyday archaeological practice.

Write a review There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book! In the face of the adoption of the digital, the human components of the practice are frequently required to adapt to new ways of doing things. New complexities arise from the new capabilities offered but may also result from awkward or inefficient use of the new technology.

Human practitioners adapt their practice to the new technology in order to continue to operate for instance, adapting to the idiosyncrasies of interface and design even when the technologies are seemingly designed to follow and support old practices rather than explicitly to transform them.

These added complexities and adaptations may give rise to surprising, unintended side-effects which may or may not be beneficial — indeed, there may be failures as a consequence of poor adaptation or encountering unanticipated circumstances. Finally, the adaptations of the practitioners may disguise the flaws and complexities in their workarounds, which may mean the designers see failure as a consequence of human error rather than problems with the technology.

It should therefore be possible to identify and trace digital practice in archaeology through the reverberations it creates in practice more generally. Similarly, it should be possible to dig into the digital in archaeological practices and scrutinise how, when, and to what extent the digital is having an influence on how archaeology is achieved.


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However, the fact that as digital archaeologists we are embedded in the very practices we seek to disentangle makes the process of critical scrutiny much harder to do and consequently it is rarely undertaken e. Nevertheless, being an informed participant rather than a distant observer can be a distinct advantage in understanding the development as well as use of technologies e.

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Furthermore, the multifaceted nature of practice makes it unlikely that any single approach can do more than illuminate one dimension of that practice. The switching between these theoretical lenses is characterised by Nicolini as simply zooming in and zooming out of practice. Following Nicolini a and adopting a digital focus, there are at least five lenses that support a zoomed-in focus on practice.

First, there is the question of what people say and what they actually do. This goes beyond capturing the rules, formal descriptions, etc. From a digital perspective this may extend into the formal definitions of tasks in software as well as the unanticipated ways in which the digital is adapted to practice. For instance, the need for ethnographic studies of the origins and development of archaeological digital tools has been identified e. Huggett ; Dufton but such deep studies of process and effects on practice have yet to be undertaken.

Secondly, there are the objects, technologies, tools, and resources, and their performative role within the practice. This recognises that the accomplishment of a practice is not only due to skilled human actors, but to the active contribution of a variety of tools and artefacts. For instance, digital tools are essentially cognitive artefacts Huggett These computational artefacts bring to their practice a broad range of affordances e.

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These and other affordances characterise the digital cognitive artefact and through determining its capabilities, influence its performative role within the practice. For example, while tablet computers used in excavation recording e. Ellis ; Wallrodt may reproduce many aspects of traditional paper forms, at the same time they transform practice in ways ranging from the enforcement of specific recording requirements through to the physical detachment from the physical remains, leading to what Taylor et al.

Thirdly, there is the purpose or objectives behind the practice: These might be specifically designed to support the specific achievement of purpose, or they may be generic devices which are combined or cannibalised to that specific end. For instance, bespoke software is used in performing certain kinds of archaeological practice e. What determines such choices, and where does the tipping point for the transition from bespoke to generic lie? What practice-based compromises or opportunities are entailed in such a shift? Discussion of digital tools employed in archaeological practice in these terms is rare, although Ducke and Dufton , for example, begin to address some of these questions.

Fourthly, there is the question of the boundedness of the practice: The digital tools we bring to bear operationalise these boundaries through the limitations and restrictions they impose; at the same time, however, they may facilitate creative practice through making those boundaries indeterminate and revealing possibilities beyond the immediate horizon. The introduction of Geographical Information Systems software into common archaeological usage is an example of such operationalisation but has rarely been critically approached in such terms. Fifthly, there is the durability and persistence of the practice.

This entails learning and hence the process by which novices become progressively proficient practitioners is important, as is the community of practitioners who share similar skills, practical concerns, understanding of the boundaries etc. The reproduction of knowledge and learning may be conceived as practice-based, with the digital simply part of the toolkit, or technology-based, where the digital is the driving force to the practical end. For example, we can identify a range of educational programmes which cover aspects of digital practice in archaeology, but there is as yet no discussion of their different approaches and methodologies.

Similarly, large communities of practice exist such as the Computer Applications in Archaeology CAA international organisation with its annual conferences, national chapters, journal, and collection of published proceedings. Nevertheless, the nature of such communities, their place in supporting and shaping digital practice, and their role in in communicating and reinforcing skills and knowledge are presently poorly understood, although what is frequently apparent is a tendency to focus on technologically-driven forms of practice.

This recognises that practices do not exist alone but are almost always dependent on or contributors to others, and consequently a practice cannot be fully understood in the absence of the texture of practices of which it is a part. Again, there are at least two lenses that support this zoomed-out focus on practice Nicolini, a: The first entails zooming out in order to understand the inter-connectedness of practices in space and time: Increasingly, of course, these connections are established digitally, maintained through social networking etc.

The second builds on the first by seeking to understand the local and broader effects of the practice networks: The communicative and transferability affordances of the digital come to the fore again, both in terms of coordinating and managing the networks and in communicating their outputs to a wider community beyond the immediate field of practice.

For example, the ARIADNE programme has sought to integrate archaeological research data infrastructures, and in the process identified a range of research portals, domains, and communication outlets e. One might therefore assume that some elements of the kinds of issues outlined above — mapping the interconnectedness of practices, tracing networks, understanding the effects of practice networks etc. Furthermore, it can be simply modified in order to focus explicitly on the nature and derivation of digital practice see Table 1. A digital focus on zooming in and out of practice following Nicolini, a , Table 3.

An obvious question is how to zoom in and out in practice. For zooming out, Nicolini a refers to qualitative methods including interviewing and conducting shadowing and ethnographic observation of daily activities but also refers to the historical method of studying past practices. There is, however, no reason why an archaeologist could not interview or observe their colleagues as in Edgeworth , for example , or conduct auto-ethnography or self-reflection Ellis et al.

Other possible methods include surveys Faniel et al. Assuming that archaeology is defined in practice by what archaeologists do and how archaeology is carried out, and that it is conducted according to that defined practice, the question of defining archaeological practice and knowledge work is a primarily theoretical question to be resolved by archaeologists. It could be argued that it is enough that archaeologists understand and reflect upon what they do and the implications their choice of tools, perspectives and organisation of work have on what we know about the past.

However, the question is equally relevant for those working with archaeologists: Understanding practices and what counts as a practice is a premise of both self-understanding but also that of planning and getting others to do what they are supposed to do, as Levin and Donnison famously suggested. As a part of the endeavour of understanding what an archaeologist does, both by the archaeologists themselves and others working with archaeology, it might be useful to make or at least think about certain distinctions of different aspects of practices even if the characterisations are kept analytical rather than ontological by their nature.


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An obvious distinction is the question of the boundaries of what counts as archaeological, what is merely related to archaeology and what if anything falls categorically out of the domain of archaeology. In this sense it might be useful to see archaeological practices as encompassing all activities that belong to the domain of archaeology, directly contribute to its aims, and follow its epistemological norms and ideals.

This covers various forms of scholarly and professional inquiry and public and community archaeology that, in a broad sense, share a common understanding of how things should be known to be archaeological and that aim to make contributions to a shared archaeological body of knowledge.

In contrast to archaeological practices, archaeology-related practices could be used to describe practices that exert influence on or are influenced by archaeological work or archaeological pursuits of knowledge. By this characterisation, it would be possible to discuss such activities in other scholarly and scientific disciplines ranging from history and cultural anthropology to forensic science and climate studies. It is apparent that the status of a specific practice is dependent on situation and perspective, and there is a grey-zone whether a specific practice should be seen as archaeological or archaeology-related especially when it comes to such undertakings that are somewhere between core and periphery from the perspective of archaeology, or that overlap with other epistemological and ontological fields.

For example, an archaeological excavation is undoubtedly an archaeological practice from an archaeological perspective whereas it can be seen as development-related practice from the from the viewpoint of the land developer. Similarly, the teaching of history, especially when it acknowledges the role of material culture, can be seen as an archaeology-related practice from an archaeological perspective but there is no reason why it could not be seen at the same time as a core practice in the context of education broadly defined.

Another obvious distinction is the question of digital versus non-digital. The debates surrounding archaeological practice and the digital raise a series of questions which, at present, have no answers. For example, zooming in to archaeological practices, what are our digital repertoires? What are the digital work routines, methods, tools, procedures held in common? How were these created and developed? Are they resources for local practice or for practice-networks? What is the nature of the identity of the members of the community?

What determines membership, and who is on the outside? Are we all digital archaeologists now? How is learning and knowledge reproduced, communicated, and passed on? Is it practice-based or technology-based i.

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Zooming out from archaeological practices, how has archaeological practice changed with the adoption of the digital? Do the digital reverberations extend from archaeological practice to archaeological theory? Is there a wholly digital practice distinct from practice more generally? A better conceptual understanding of what constitute archaeological practices will be broadly useful for archaeological and archaeology-related inquiries, but importantly the particular relevance of archaeological and archaeology-related knowledge and information work pertains to the scrutiny of archaeological documentation practice and its outcomes, to archaeological information and information practices including information creation, seeking, organisation, management, use and preservation, to knowledge making both in and in relation to archaeology, and, not least, to archaeological computing and information processing.

This has several possible benefits.

Critical Approaches to Fieldwork

For example, if it were desirable to codify and propose standardised ways of working and develop formal descriptions of methods and approaches, the kind of understanding outlined here is a necessary starting point for mapping and modelling sociotechnical activity systems ranging from activity theory Sannino et al.

Alternatively, this more naturalistic approach allowing practitioners to define what they themselves consider as their practices is an important first stage in mapping the diversity of what might count as archaeological practices, knowledge work, and more specifically as digital archaeological practices.

This then becomes a precursor to a much deeper, conceptual and theoretical understanding of the broader field. Without a proper understanding of how archaeology is conducted in practice and how archaeological knowledge is produced, it is difficult to pursue such a critical, reflexive approach, and, absent this understanding, it is problematic to avoid a technologically deterministic approach to both contemporary archaeological practices and knowledge work, and future ways of practicing archaeology. Archaeology and the global financial crisis.

Archaeological Practices, Knowledge Work and Digitalisation

Antiquity , 83 Digital turn, digital geographies? Progress in Human Geography , 41 1: Multivocality and Indigenous Archaeologies. Beyond Nationalist, Colonialist, Imperialist Archaeologies , 29— Beale, G and Reilly, P. Digital practice as meaning making in archaeology. Internet Archaeology , How community archaeology can make use of open data to achieve further its objectives. World Archaeology , 44 4: The coming of post-industrial society: Antiquity , 89 Berggren, A and Hodder, I.

American Antiquity , 68 3: The Political Dimension of Archaeological Practices.

Introduction

Bonacchi, C and Moshenska, G. Critical reflections on digital public archaeology. Grey literature — grey sources? Nuancing the view on professional documentation: The case of Swedish archaeology. Journal of Documentation , 71 6: Proceedings from the Document Academy , 3 1: Which workplace models still work in modern digital workplaces? Information Research , 22 1: Technology, Efficiency, and Archaeological Work. Digital Press at the University of North Dakota.

Carter, S and Robertson, A. Project to define professional functions and standards in archaeological practice. Add to Wish List. Description This work takes as its starting point the role of fieldwork and how this has changed over the past years. The Bookshelf application offers access: Online — Access your eBooks using the links emailed to you on your Routledge.