Documenting archaeological knowledge construction as information practices

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Dokumentart: ConferencePaper
Date: 2023-10-31
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Archäologie
DDC Classifikation: 930 - History of ancient world to ca. 499
Keywords: Kykladen , Bronzezeit , Archäologie
Other Keywords: Web-Visualisierung
digitale Archäologie
Early Bronze Age
Web visualization
Laser Scanning
digital archaeology
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Archaeology is a complex and communal undertaking that brings together people with varied backgrounds, who mobilize a wide range of tools and expert knowledge to assemble the archaeological record. In recognizing objects of interest and characterizing their significance through encoded disciplinary language (i.e. through data construction and other forms of scholarly communication), we situate our tacit, local experiences within an archaeological epistemic culture, or common modes of reasoning. Communication among archaeologists is therefore considered as a process of enculturation, whereby a shared understanding of the pragmatic conditions and expectations that underlie a record’s construction facilitates its continued use by others. This paper presents the preliminary results from my doctoral research, which is an attempt to better understand this archaeological epistemic culture, and to develop information infrastructures that facilitate the interoperability of archaeological data across research contexts. By observing archaeologists as they work, which includes affixing GoPro action cameras to their foreheads in order to obtain first-person perspectives, the physical, cognitive and communicative processes that comprise common fieldwork practices are formally identified and related. These observations are integrated with interviews and analysis of recording practices in order to better understand individuals’ affective roles within their socio-technical research environments, as well as the communicative processes (i.e. documentation, representation and mediation) that enable research to be distributed among archaeologists and across various settings. In sum, I trace the relationships among archaeologists, their tools, the ideas they draw from, and the archaeological record itself, as knowledge is constructed under realistic and social conditions.

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