Understanding archaeological documentation through a participatory, arts-based approach
Body Mapping the Digital: Visually representing the impact of technology on archaeological practice.
Recommendation: posted 05 October 2023, validated 06 October 2023
Dell'Unto, N. (2023) Understanding archaeological documentation through a participatory, arts-based approach. Peer Community in Archaeology, 100345. 10.24072/pci.archaeo.100345
This paper presents the use of a participatory arts-based methodology to understand how digital and analogue tools affect individuals' participation in the process of archaeological recording and interpretation. The preliminary results of this work highlight the importance of rethinking archaeologists' relationship with different recording methods, emphasising the need to recognise the value of both approaches and to adopt a documentation strategy that exploits the strengths of both analogue and digital methods.
Although a larger group of participants with broader and more varied experience would have provided a clearer picture of the impact of technology on current archaeological practice, the article makes an important contribution in highlighting the complex and not always easy transition that archaeologists trained in analogue methods are currently experiencing when using digital technology.
This is assessed by using arts-based methodologies to enable archaeologists to consider how digital technologies are changing the relationship between mind, body and practice.
I found the range of experiences described in the papers by the archaeologists involved in the experiment particularly interesting and very representative of the change in practice that we are all experiencing. As the article notes, the two approaches cannot be directly compared because they offer different possibilities: if analogue methods foster a deeper connection with the archaeological material, digital documentation seems to be perceived as more effective in terms of data capture, information exchange and data sharing (Araar et al., 2023).
It seems to me that an important element to consider in such a study is the generational shift and the incredible divide between native and non-native digital.
The critical issues highlighted in the paper are central and provide important directions for navigating this ongoing (digital) transition.
Araar, L., Morgan, C. and Fowler, L. (2023) Body Mapping the Digital: Visually representing the impact of technology on archaeological practice., Zenodo, 7990581, ver. 5 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Archaeology. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7990581
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article. The authors declared that they comply with the PCI rule of having no financial conflicts of interest in relation to the content of the article.
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7990581
Version of the preprint: 3
Author's Reply, 25 Sep 2023
Decision by Nicolo Dell'Unto, posted 09 Aug 2023, validated 09 Aug 2023
I am pleased to inform you that I have received the external reviewers' comments on your article "Body Mapping the Digital: Visually Representing the Impact of Technology on Archaeological Practice".
The reviewers have provided constructive feedback to further improve your manuscript. I encourage you to consider their comments and suggestions carefully as you make the necessary revisions. Your attention to these details will help ensure the quality and impact of your work.
Please take the time to address the reviewers' comments thoroughly. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need clarification during this process.
Thank you for your commitment to improving your article. We look forward to receiving your revised manuscript and working towards final publication.