Macroscopic approaches to archaeological histories: Insights into archaeological practice from digital methods

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The history of archaeology, like most disciplines, is often presented as a sequence of influential individuals and a discussion of their greatest hits in the literature. Two problems with this traditional approach are that it sidelines the major of participants in the archaeological literature who are excluded from these discussions, and it does not capture the conversations outside of the canonical literature. Recently developed computationally intensive methods as well as creative uses of existing digital tools can address these problems by efficiently enabling quantitative analyses of large volumes of text and other digital objects, and enabling large scale analysis of non-traditional research products such as blogs, images and other media.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-4 of 4)

  • Documents (4)

  • Academic Freedom, Data, and Job Performance in the Panopticon (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Eric Kansa.

    This paper explores the challenges in recognizing and rewarding greater openness and collaboration in archaeology, given neoliberal institutional realities. After years of advocacy, governments and major granting foundations have embraced many elements of the open science reform agenda. The White House recently made open access and open data in research a policy goal, and it is exploring other policies to promote "reproducibility" in federally-funded research, including archaeology. Despite open...

  • Beyond Sharks and Laser Beams: Lessons on Informatics Needs, Open Behaviors, and Analytics Practices to Achieve Archaeological Big Data, as Learned from the Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA) (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joshua Wells. David Anderson. Eric Kansa. Sarah Kansa. Stephen Yerka.

    Demands for archaeological "big data" must move strategically beyond buzzwords. Sciences and humanities that are successfully augmenting their workflows with ubiquitous computing are necessarily dealing with issues of accessibility, interoperability, and fundamental questions about the intended utility of core collection strategies at massive scales. Fortunately for archaeology, solutions to these issues are achievable through emphases on existing research networks and readily "open" solutions....

  • Grand Challenges vs Actual Challenges: Text mining small and big data for quantitative insights (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ian Kretzler. Joss Whittaker. Ben Marwick.

    Kintigh et al (2014) recently published a survey of archaeologists that claimed to identify 'archaeology's most important scientific challenges'. Numerous commentators have critiqued the small sample size of this survey (181 respondents) and the subjective reading of the responses. We use quantitative methods to analyse the full text of the survey responses and discover different challenges to those highlighted by Kintigh et al. We also analyse over 6000 archaeology journal articles in JSTOR to...

  • Off the beaten track: exploring what lies outside paths of most frequently cited publications in citation networks (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tom Brughmans.

    Most citation network analysis techniques are designed to identify the main paths of the ‘flow of academic influence’ through a citation network, or result in a ranking of publications with the highest scores for certain network measures. Although such results are interesting, they are not always particularly surprising. A recent application of citation network techniques to a network of archaeological literature concluded that a literature review will allow one to identify key works and the...