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The study of archaeological practices and knowledge production has been around for a few decades and has given fruitful insights into our field of work, archaeology. However, the circumstances of the practices of archaeology have changed radically in the past decades, and we want to explore the impact of these changes on methods used for studying those practices

Archaeological practices have changed with regard to several factors:

  • Methodological changes – an increasing digitalization both regarding documentation and recording, i.e. acquiring data, as well as in repository and dissemination of data. And following these changes new issues connected to accessibility, standardization, etc. arise.
  • Material changes – the emergence of new forms and scales of material evidence (for example in Contemporary Archaeology).
  • Scientific changes connected to the methodological changes, such as big data, refined dating analysis (Bayesian analysis), as well as a more refined and nuanced archaeological knowledge.
  • Interpretative changes connected to new perspectives and possibilities generated by these methodological changes, such as 3D-modelling and increased accessibility to data.
  • Economic changes, due to increased economic pressure in developer funded archaeology as well as decreasing funds for research especially in economically strained countries.
  • Political changes – as the political environment in Europe is changing and archaeology and heritage in places is used as a political tool.
  • Changes originating in other disciplines, for example the recent Anthropocene debate originating in geology or the various ways natural sciences is beginning to influence archaeology in a big way (and arguably archaeology will influence it back),

All these changes have a profound impact and provide new possibilities for the study of the forms of production of archaeological knowledge (see Huvila & Huggett 2018, Taylor et al 2018, Huvila 2018, Walcek Averett et al 2016, Opitz & Johnson 2015, Chapman & Wylie 2015, Internet Archaeology Issues 43, 44, 46, Open Archaeology Issues 1,4).

The aim of the conference is to discuss and answer this key question: Given the shifting grounds, how can we best apprehend the current state of the field, the ways in which it is changing, and where it is heading in the future?

For more info see the Call for Papers



Chapman, R. & Wylie, A. (eds). 2015. Material evidence, learning from archaeological practice. Routledge.

Huvila. I. (ed.). 2018. Archaeology and Archaeological Information in the Digital Society. Routledge.

Huvila, I. & Hugget, J. 2018. Archaeological Practices, Knowledge Work and Digitalisation. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology, 1(1), pp. 88–100, DOI:

Internet Archaeology Issues 43, 44, 46

Taylor, J. S. et al. 2018. ‘The Rise of the Machine’: the impact of digital tablet recording in the field at Çatalhöyük. Internet Archaeology 47.

Open Archaeology Issues 1, 4

Opitz, R & Johnson, T. 2015. Interpretation at the Controller’s Edge: Designing Graphical User Interfaces for the Digital Publication of the Excavations at Gabii (Italy). Open Archaeology 2. DOI:

Walcek Averett, E. et al.(eds). 2016. Mobilizing the past for a digital future – The Potential of Digital Archaeology. Digital Press at The University of North Dakota.