The Promise and Challenge of Archaeological Data Integration

Editor(s): Keith Kintigh

Year: 2006


This forum reports the results of a National Science Foundation-funded workshop that focused on the integration and preservation of digital databases and other structured data derived from archaeological contexts. The workshop concluded that for archaeology to achieve its potential to advance long-term, scientific understandings of human history, there is a pressing need for an archaeological information infrastructure that will allow us to archive, access, integrate, and mine disparate data sets. This report provides an assessment of the informatics needs of archaeology, articulates an ambitious vision for a distributed disciplinary information infrastructure (cyberinfrastructure),discusses the challenges posed by its development, and outlines initial steps toward its realization. Finally, it argues that such a cyberinfrastructure has enormous potential to contribute to anthropology and science more generally. Concept-oriented archaeological data integration will enable the use of existing data to answer compelling new questions and permit syntheses of archaeological data that rely not on other investigators' conclusions but on analyses of meaningfully integrated new and legacy data sets.

Cite this Record

The Promise and Challenge of Archaeological Data Integration. Keith Kintigh. American Antiquity: 567-578. 2006 ( tDAR id: 448020) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8448020

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