Karin Lund

(National Heritage Board, Lund, Sweden)

This paper discusses the confrontation between archaeology, archaeologists and digital documentation. At our Department of Archaeological Excavation, National Heritage Board, Sweden we have been using total stations and digital documentation for over 15 years. We started out with ad hoc solutions and ended up with a software special developed for archaeological documentation, Intrasis. Today every archaeologist uses the program – and also handles the total station. But still the words like digital, total station, GIS and databases awake mixed feelings among archaeologists. The issue is less hot among the younger generation of archaeologists – but still proper training in digital documentation is rare in Sweden. Understanding that digital documentation, correctly performed, brings quality to the excavation could be one of the main issues to put forward. It also increases the possibilities of exchange of excavation data – especially if all archaeologists in a region use the same software, as in Sweden, but in what extent is data exchange between these institutions? During the report and analyze phase my experience is that the GIS analysis often is used to produce a map to illustrate an already achieved knowledge. Is this the way archaeologists work or is it that the GIS Software is far to complicated? There will always be a space for GIS specialists but I feel that we often fail to communicate the possibilities to those who have less knowledge in GIS. How do we overcome this, so digital documentation is seen as a potential and not a burden? In this paper I will try to analyze these facts and hopefully give some ideas about the future for digital documentation.