Digital Techniques in Public Archeology

The Hidalgo Country Pauper Cemetery Project right now has taken the broadcast approach however if we get more of the community involved with the collection of data it will shift to the participatory approach. The broadcasting approach is one-way which makes it difficult to get feedback and the participatory requires the help of the community. The project is being conducted by university students many who will become professionals in anthropology and archeology but in order for it to be participatory there needs to be participation form the public. With the use of technology rather than having the “professional” or the “amateur” there will be more of an importance on the skills and knowledge in that certain area and use of technology. There may be a barrier that will prevent the use of technology and that is the funds to acquire some of this technology.
In order to move towards a more collaborative, co-creative, or hosted methods of engagement we would have to maybe find other ways to lessen the barrier in the broadcasting of our information. We are using blogs right now but maybe we could expand that and include other forms of media and websites to not only broadcast but create an inclusive interpretation of the data and encourage people to participate. As we get community members to participate with the collection of the data we must take into account what programs we use and how that will change the dynamics between the people involved. There must be other types of technologies that could be incorporated with the project that would allow us to gather more data for interpretation.
The benefits of 3D technology provide to a public archeology project is what we cannot see above the surface, allowing us to see what lies beneath. The 3D technology also is a form of mapping out the individual graves and their proximity to one another. There was a disadvantage in using technology in the case of recording the data using our phones was complicated somewhat when there was no internet connection and the system did not register our input. When recording data whether it be on a machine or paper we must be careful not to lose it. In class, we were taught how the 3D scanner worked but the process was time consuming and slow moving as it required steady hands to operate. The 3D imaging would have made a big difference in how the project would have gone, giving us more information that we would not have been able to gather otherwise. The pitfall of using 3D imaging would be that there will not always be accurate because there might be some interference that will change our perception of the 3D image. There is another downside of using certain technology and that is that not everyone knows how to use it. There are advantages though with a 3D view we would be able to recreate some of the missing parts and get a general idea of what the entirety looks like.


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