Karin Lund

(National Heritage Board, Sweden)

Purpose: How does digital documentation affect the organisation of an excavation and an institution?

Results: The need of flexibility

David Bibby writes in his invitation to the session “This session will explicitly consider the advantages of computer applications in archaeology, be they scientific, financial, infrastructural, touristic or museological or even perhaps helpful in increasing accessibility to archaeology for the lay public.” Yes, David there is advantages in all these areas, but I will in my paper consider the “fundamental” changes that inevitably will take place within an archaeological company or institution that goes for digital field documentation. It is not only a matter of education, software and archaeologists – it is also, and perhaps foremost, a matter of organization. Digital documentation affects the daily work of the archaeologists as well as the outcome of an archaeological excavation. The hard thing is to take it beyond the point where you only are making paper digital. I will in this paper examine different approaches taken by some archaeological companies – varying from “anarchy” to “Big Brother”. In the “anarchy” approach it is all up to the single archaeologists – their digital knowledge and education will set the agenda for the excavation. Whereas the “Big Brother” approach is standardized and there are very few options, if none, for individualizing the sites. They should all fit into the standard system even if you have to equip all archaeologists with a shoehorn.

Keywords: Documentation, GIS, archaeologist, organisation