Digital curation, data and replication of results - the foundation for the future of archaeology

Author(s): W. Fredrick Limp

Year: 2016


This is a pdf copy of the PPT slides used for this presentation in the SAA symposium. The first principle of the SAA’s Ethics states “The archaeological record …[including]... archaeological collections, records and reports, is irreplaceable. It is the responsibility of all archaeologists to work for the long-term conservation and protection of the archaeological record...” As a profession, we’ve been reasonably responsible as stewards of archaeological sites, but considerably less responsible when we think about digital records and reports. The long-term and ready availability of the complete records of any archaeological activity is essential for the credibility of archaeology. A recent article in Science reports that after redoing 100 major psychology experiments only 39% could be replicated. The ability of others to reproduce results is a central tenant of modern research. In archaeology, we commonly destroy our object of study –it is only through careful reassessment of the data from our work that we have any hope of a foundation that is not built on shifting sands. At the same time, the increasing use of high density survey and measurement in the field means that we can move from our tradition of recording information – once removed from data – to recording (and preserving) data, making preservation even more critical.

Cite this Record

Digital curation, data and replication of results - the foundation for the future of archaeology. W. Fredrick Limp. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404066) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8PC34BF

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Fred Limp

Contributor(s): Angie Payne; Katie Simon; Rachel Opitz

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