CAA SIGARKWORK Archaeological practices and knowledge work in the digital environment

A special interest group Archaeological practices and knowledge work in the digital environment in Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology International Organisation

A comprehensive understanding of emerging digital practices, their underpinnings and implications is a key to understanding and developing the potential of computational archaeology, new methods, technologies and approaches, effectively managing the rapidly accumulating archaeological data and using them all for the benefit of archaeological scholarship and the society at large. CAASIG ARKWORK consolidate the on-going work relating to digital archaeological practices and knowledge work affiliated with the CAA community and forms a platform for developing and discussing research on digital archaeological practices and its repercussions both within and outside of archaeology with a direct benefit for the work of the CAA community and its members.


The core aim of this group is to use the CAA’s SIG format to raise the awareness of the empirical and theoretical research on digital archaeological practices and knowledge work and its implications for the work conducted within the CAA community and for archaeology at large.


  • Create a friendly and open platform to discuss the role and research of digital practices and knowledge work in archaeology
  • Promote the research activities in the field of archaeological knowledge production and use in digital environment, to make a push forward in knowing how archaeological knowledge is produced, how it is used and how to maximise its positive impact in the society. 
  • Act as a stakeholder platform and a transnational practice community providing guidance for novel research in the area of digital archaeological practices and knowledge work
  • Forge closer collaborations between researchers already active in this field and allow for the training of researchers and other interested stakeholders both within and outside the current CAA community
  • Consider wider implications of a better understanding of digital archaeological practices and knowledge work for archaeology and society
  • Strengthen the transfer of expertise between academic and cultural heritage sectors and industries (including cultural, creative, construction and infrastructural industries), third sector, global and local communities and public bodies. 
  • Provide a platform to present and discuss evidence-based, theoretical and conceptual research and reflexive practices relating to digital archaeology, digital archaeological practices and knowledge work.

CAA 2022 session Traces of digital archaeological practises

Organised by Isto Huvila, Zanna Friberg, Lisa Börjesson, Olle Sköld (Uppsala University)


Knowing about how archaeological work – from fieldwork to data collection, analyses, construction of models, visualisations and beyond – is conducted is essential for understanding its outputs whether they are 3D models, archaeological knowledge, digital or analogue data or books, articles or reports. There is an increasing body of research on the traces of archaeological, and in a broader sense, scientific and scholarly practises. These studies investigate how different traces— conceptualised, for example, as traces (e.g. Hug et al. 2011; Morgan & Eve, 2012), paradata (e.g. Gant & Reilly, 2017; Denard, 2012; Huvila et al. 2021) and provenance metadata (e.g. Huggett, 2014)—can inform data reuse, provide understanding and criticise archaeological practises, documentation and information, seek to understand the limits of archaeological knowledge, and much more. Thematically the work spans from the documentation of archaeological visualisations (Bentkowska-Kafel & Denard, 2012; Börjesson et al. 2020) to studies of the use (Wylie, 2017) and curatorial history of archaeological collections (Voss, 2012; Friberg & Huvila, 2019), archaeological documentation (Huvila et al., 2021), data reuse (Ullah, 2015; Sobotkova, 2018; Strupler, 2021), analysis of earlier data collection methods (Olson & Walther, 2007) and changing data practises (Montoya et al., 2019).

This session invites presentations of evidence-based, theoretical and reflective work relating to traces of digital archaeological practises. Theoretically, the session is open to perspectives drawing from the quantitatively oriented trace data analysis tradition and qualitative investigation of traces—including trace ethnography that enables identification and analysis of traces in semi- or unstructured documentary formats such as working notes, log files and oral communication (cf. Geiger & Ribes, 2011)—and beyond to bring different approaches and theoretical views into discussion with each other. Contributions to the session can, for example, describe qualitative and quantitative methods and experiences of collecting traces (including paradata, provenance metadata and beyond); discuss how traces can inform data reuse, analysis and use of archaeological information and knowledge in different forms; engage in theoretical ruminations of what counts and works as a trace; share experiences and considerations of e.g., what functions as a trace and why, what types of traces are informative and for what purposes, and what kinds of traces can be seemingly informative but in practice are less useful. Thinking of possible contexts, the discussed work can pertain to fieldwork and documentation of digital field practises, documentation of data creation (e.g. database design and curation), traces of practises in legacy data, metadata and paradata, automatic and manual documentation of practises in field and lab notebooks, databases and video diaries, annotation of 3D visualisations and documentation and archiving of software used in archaeological data capturing and analysis. The disciplinary background of proposers includes the whole CAA community from archaeologists to, for example, social and computer scientists, heritage, museum and information studies researchers and practitioners.


Presentation slides for a part of the presentations are linked to the presentation titles.

40. Translations and path dependencies between sources, made and given data / Roesler* and Hofmann
57. Towards clarity and confidence in archaeological prospection and remote sensing archaeology / Banaszek*, Cowley, Geddes, Bjerketvedt and Killoran
63. Follow the money: Tracing Alexandrian coinage in the digital record / Isaksen*
84. Known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns: Strengths and weaknesses of reporting archaeological fieldwork and research in Scotland / McKeague*
94. Gathering and following traces: Towards a methodology of data reading / Sköld, Börjesson, Huvila* and Kaiser
124. Archiving the third dimension / Kruse* and Schönenberger
34. The impacts of digital devices on archaeological practices on field recording activities and archaeological archives production from 1980s: An historical and epistemological point of view / Tuffery*
70. From analogic and legacy data to the digital geonumismatic database of the AugustaGIS / Bettineschi*, Reuter, Rheeder, Gairhos and Sojc
96. 3D reconstruction of the early medieval stronghold in Santok: Educational and scientific significance of the visualisation in archaeology / Markiewicz* and Zamelska-Monczak

Senast uppdaterad: 2022-10-13