Friday, 20 March 2015

Mobile Archaeology

As I was researching for mobile apps that are being used by archaeologists in the field, I happened to come across this Pompeii project. While not exactly what I was searching for, this post discusses a number of interesting abilities that mobile devices can bring to archaeology.

The project is run by Dr. Steven Ellis at the University of Cincinnati and essentially what they are doing is using off-the-shelf data collection apps that make things more readily and easily shared. The author of the post discusses how the information that is collected out in the field, uploaded directly to a website and then is shown in the classroom. From here, the students can go through the latest photos and maps, discuss finds and follow the project.

I think that this is good start to putting technology to work for us in the field of archaeology. If we can more readily store and send information then perhaps the time spent cataloguing and storing artifacts can be cut down immensely. There is already the initiative to digitize archaeology at SA with the barcode system. The introduction of mobile devices could fast track this process by providing each artifact, level, test pit, site with their own barcodes as work is being done rather than in the main facility itself.

Do any of you see how mobile devices could benefit the field of archaeology? Or conversely, do any of you think that introducing mobile devices into the field could do more harm than good?


Neal Ferris said...

here is a compilation of field recording apps that you might find useful:

Kayley Sherret said...

I do think that mobile devices could greatly benefit archaeology by making information more easily sharable, or in the case of the app you proposed helping in things such as artifact identification. I do think that when discussing a new 'toy' people tend to get very excited and sometimes not think critically of what that new technology may mean. In the case of rapid data sharing, as discussed in class especially when Jen mentioned what can and can't be shared in Egypt, it is important to remember that just because you can quickly share something that does not mean that you should without thinking it through first.

I am very excited to see the direction that archaeology can go in with the addition of new technologies but I think that we should always be as cautious as we are excited.

Brandy G said...

I know companies are always trying to find new ways to speed up work and ensure better accuracy and I thought looking at and considering new applications for smartphones and tablets is a good way to go. The only problem I can see is that we as archaeologists are used to walking along looking at the ground and with the addition of archaeology apps, we may never look up again!