Mobilizing the Past Final Program (PDF)

Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: the Potential of Digital Archaeology

Participant Workshop Agenda & Program


Erin Walcek Averett, Creighton University (Omaha, NE)
Jody M. Gordon, Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston, MA)
Derek B. Counts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
Michael K. Toumazou, Davidson College (Davidson, NC)

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities
Creighton University
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Davidson College
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

27-28 February 2015

This workshop focuses on the emergence of digital archaeology – fully digital recording systems to create born-digital data in the field. The purpose of this intensive workshop is to bring together the leading figures in the field to discuss the use, creation, and implementation of mobile technology in advancing digital archaeology. Session themes are aimed to facilitate presentation and discussion on how archaeologists from different disciplines are using tablets or similar digital tools in the field, in the lab, and beyond, and how best practices are emerging and might be implemented across projects of different scale. The workshop will highlight the advantages and future of mobile computing as well as its challenges and limitations.

All events are hosted on the campus of Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) unless otherwise noted.

DAY 1: February 27

1:00 – 5:00 pm Registration
Alumni Room, Beatty Hall 103

3:05 – 3:15 Welcome and Opening Remarks, Jody Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology)
Beatty Multipurpose Room, Beatty Hall 119

3:15 – 5:15 Session I: App/Database Development and Use for Mobile Computing in Archaeology
Beatty Multipurpose Room, Beatty Hall 119

Moderator: Eric Poehler (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)
Agenda: The session highlights the mobile apps and databases currently being used by various projects for field recording and spatial visualization and how the development of new apps will improve the integration of data and workflow in the future.

3:15 – 3:40 “If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Reflections on Custom Mobile App Development,” Sam Fee (Washington and Jefferson College)

3:40 – 4:05 “Beyond the Basemap: Site and Landscape Survey through Low Altitude Aerial Photogrammetry and Mobile GIS in the Andes,” Steven A. Wernke (Vanderbilt University), Julie A. Adams (Vanderbilt University), Eli Hooten (Vanderbilt University), Gabriela Oré (Vanderbilt University), Carla Hernández (Vanderbilt University), and Aurelio Rodríguez (Independent Scholar), Abel Traslaviña Arias (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos), and Giancarlo Marcone (Proyecto Qhapaq Ñan, Ministry of Culture of Peru)

4:05 – 4:30 “Digital Imaging and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology: Problems and Prospects,” Brandon Olson (Boston University) and Manny Moss (City University of New York)

4:30 – 4:55 “Mukurtu CMS: Differential Access for the Ethical Stewardship of Cultural and Digital Heritage,” Michael Ashley (Center for Digital Archaeology – UC Berkeley)

4:45 – 5:15 Moderated Discussion

5:15 – 5:30 BREAK

5:30 – 6:30 Keynote Lecture: Why Paperless?: Digital Technology and Archaeology,” John Wallrodt (University of Cincinnati)
Beatty Hall Room 426


DAY 2: February 28

7:30 – 8:30 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
Casella Gallery, Annex Central, 1st floor

8:15 – 8:20 Welcome, Zorica Pantić, President (Wentworth Institute of Technology)
Blount Auditorium, Annex Central Building 106

8:20 – 8:30 Opening Remarks, Erin Walcek Averett (Creighton University), Derek B. Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), and Jody Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology)
Blount Auditorium, Annex Central Building 106

8:30 – 10:45 Session II: Mobile Computing in the Field
Bount Auditorium, Annex Central Building 106

Moderator: Steven Ellis (University of Cincinnati)
Agenda: This session allows participants to present experiments (both successful and unsuccessful) and best practices currently being developed by various projects using mobile computing in the field. The goal is to highlight the diverse ways mobile devices are being used in the field and explore the range of factors that impact different types of projects utilizing these tools. After the presentations, the moderator will lead a short discussion aimed at elucidating key issues in mobile data collection and analysis so that these issues can be revisited during the later Round Table Session.

8:30 – 8:55 “Pompeii and the iPad: New Practices, New Philosophies,” Steven Ellis (University of Cincinnati)

8:55 – 9:20 “Digital Pompeii: Dissolving the Fieldwork-Library Research Divide,” Eric Poehler (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)

9:20 – 9:45 “Integrating Digital and Physical Workflows in Archaeological Fieldwork: Lessons from Three Paperless Projects,” Chris Motz (University of Cincinnati)

9:45 – 10:10 “Digital Archaeology in the Rural Andes: Problems and Prospects,” Matthew Sayre (University of South Dakota)

10:10 – 10:35 “Postcards from the Pladypos: Field-Testing the First Generation of Cognitive Robots for Underwater Archaeology,” Bridget Buxton (University of Rhode Island) and Nikola Miskovic (University of Zagreb)

10:35 – 10:45 Moderated Discussion

10:45 – 11:00 Coffee Break, Casella Gallery

11:00 – 1:00 Session III: Systems for Archaeological Data Management
Blount Auditorium, Annex Central Building 106

Moderator: Shawn Ross (Macquarie University)
Agenda: This session focuses on archaeological information systems and how these integrated digital workflows manipulate archaeological data from the field to the repository. The presentations provide an overview of existing systems and demonstrate their key features to provide insights into different approaches to system design, data collection, processing and analysis, as well as issues of systems’ interoperability. The goal is to initiate a dialogue between systems developers and users to shed light on current problems and future prospects for systems’ design.

11:00 – 11:25 “Cástulo: a Test Site for a New Digital Information System,” Marcelo Castro (Regional Government of Culture and Sport, Junta de Andalucía, Jaén, Spain), Francisco Arias (Archaeological Ensemble of Cástulo, Linares, Spain), María Libertad Serrano, Ana Martínez Carrillo, Manolo Serrano Araque (Forvm MMX Project, Linares, Spain)

11:25 – 11:50 “CSS for Success? Exploring Browser-Based Data Collection Using Tablets and the Archaeological Recording Kit (ARK),” Andrew Dufton (Brown University)

11:50 – 12:15 “Digital Archaeology in the Private Sector: Leveraging Technology in Cultural Resource Management,” Ted Roberts and Shawn Fehrenbach (PaleoWest Archaeology)

12:15 – 12:40 “Creating Interoperable Digital Datasets: the Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems (FAIMS) Project,” Shawn Ross (FAIMS Project, Macquarie University, Australia)

12:40 – 1:00 Moderated Discussion

2:15 – 4:45 pm Session IV: Pedagogy, Data Curation, & Reflection
Blount Auditorium

Moderator: Eric Kansa (University of California-Berkeley)
Agenda: Archaeology continues to be revolutionized through the integration of new digital technologies into its methods and processes. Historically, technology has greatly enhanced archaeologists’ ability to understand the past, yet technology also alters the ways that archaeologists approach their data in relation to pedagogy, analysis, and long-term preservation. This session’s goal is to reflect on the ways that mobile computing and open access data management are changing how archaeologists develop and teach field methods, as well as how they interact with objects and sites as new datasets are born and old ones are revisited in increasingly rapid and multifaceted ways.

2:15 – 2:40 “Teaching Archaeology with Digital Data Collection Protocol,” Rebecca Bria (Vanderbilt University)

2:40 – 3:05 “Technology and Teaching at the Athienou Archaeological Project, Cyprus,” Jody Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology), Kyo Koo (Davidson College), Michael Toumazou (Davidson College), Derek Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Erin Walcek Averett (Creighton University)

3:05 – 3:30 “Teaching Practice While Developing Practice: Mobile Computing at the Gabii Project Field School,” Rachel Opitz (University of Arkansas)

3:30 – 3:55 “From the Web to the Field: Using Online Data Collections in Field Research,” Eric Kansa (University of California-Berkeley)

3:55 – 4:20 “On Screen Triples: Linked Open Data and Born Digital Archaeological Data,” Sebastian Heath (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)

4:20 – 4:45 “Toward a Slow Archaeology,” Bill Caraher (University of North Dakota)

4:45 – 5:00 Coffee Break, Casella Gallery

5:00 – 6:00 Round Table Session:  The Potential of Mobile Computing, the Future of Digital Archaeology, & Broader Implications
Blount Auditorium, Annex Central Building 106

Moderators: Derek B. Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Sebastian Heath (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)

  • Topic 1: Moble computing in the field: past experiences and future directions.
  • Topic 2: Making digital archaeology the norm – how do we accomplish parity in the use of digital technologies among projects of different scope and funding? What online presence can be created to help start-up projects and projects lacking technical support achieve this?
  • Topic 3:  App accessibility? Off-the-shelf or build your own? Should all projects have an integrated FAIMS-type system workflow?
  • Topic 4: What is the broader significance of digital archaeology and mobile computing for the humanities? How do these types of changes in the way we “do” humanities affect how we cognitively craft our research processes and how we interpret our evidence? How does this enhance dissemination of information and visitor experience and create a dynamic educational environment?
  • Topic 5: Brainstorming a ‘manifesto’ for mobile computing in archaeology. What would such a manifesto look like ideally? Should it be inclusive, reflexive?

6:00 – 7:00 Plenary Lecture: “The Ara Pacis and Montecitorio Obelisk of Augustus: a Simpirical Investigation” Bernard Frischer (Indiana University)
Blount Auditorium, Annex Central Building 106