Archaeological computing then and now: theory and practice, intentions and tensions

Lock, G. (2009) Archaeological computing then and now: theory and practice, intentions and tensions. Archeologia e Calcolatori, 20. pp. 75-84. ISSN 1120-6861


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This paper is a brief and personal historical overview of the development of archaeological computing and its relationship with changing archaeological theory. I outline the changes in theoretical approaches through the 1960s to 1980s and how these relate to archaeological data, methodologies, the use of models and interpretation. Two sub-themes within the paper are the importance of scale and the representation of qualitative, as well as quantitative, data and interpretations. Through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications in archaeology, I discuss various aspects of recent theoretical approaches and how they have been represented through archaeological computing. Because this is not an easy relationship, I suggest that the intentions of an analysis will inevitably produce tensions between practice and theory. It is by confronting these tensions that the discipline of archaeological computing will move forward beyond technologically determined push-button solutions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Moscati P. (ed.), La nascita dell’informatica archeologica. Atti del Convegno Internazionale (Roma, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 24 ottobre 2008)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History of applications and research projects; theoretical and methodological problems
Subjects: 900 Storia, Geografia e discipline ausiliarie > 930 Storia dei mondo antico fino al 499 ca. > 930.1 Archeologia (Classificare qui la Storia fino al 4000 a.C., l'Archeologia preistorica, le opere interdisciplinari sull'Archeologia) > 930.102 Archeologia - Opere miscellanee > 930.1028 Archeologia – Tecniche, metodologie, apparecchi e strumenti (comprende: Archeometria) > 930.10285 Archeologia – Applicazioni informatiche (comprende: tecniche di datazione)
Depositing User: Dott.ssa Paola Moscati
Date Deposited: 17 May 2010
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2017 10:07

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