Chair: R. Gietl, Arc-Team –

During the last years Free- and Open-Source Software has become more and more a matter under discussion in Archaeology. Free Software is not any longer considered as a niche for a few “command-line excited” students, but as a serious branch of modern information technology. It has become user-friendlier, easier to install and to manage. In the meantime we have Free Software applications available for many of our purposes, frequently we are using them already unknowingly e. g. as web-servers in the Internet-sector. We have several possibilities starting from simple text processing to demanding tasks in statistics, GIS or Virtual Reality. It would be interesting to know about your experiences made, using Free Software in Archaeology. In addition the philosophy of free data exchange has the potential to accelerate the progress of archaeological research: Wiki-Systems seem to be a future way to publish our results and to cooperate in real-time with colleagues all over the world, a freer access to materials and raw-data would exponentiate our standard of knowledge. Such fundamental discussions about the future of interchanging information of cultural heritage should find place too. The development of the Free Software movement (Free in the meaning of Freedom) is reaching now a crucial point: It is a valid, powerful and more economic alternative to proprietary software, but the question is: Will people seize this chance?

For more information about Archaeology & Free Software see: