Contract archaeology

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Research Outside the Academy: Professional Knowledge-Making in the Digital Age, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, p.107-122 (2019)



Contract archaeology Archaeology Cultural heritage Fieldwork Quality Conditions Information sources


The rapid expansion of contract archaeology as the primary sector of archaeological knowledge-making in many developed countries make it an illustrative example of which effects the organization and re-organization of a particular knowledge-producing sector affects the conditions for how knowledge can be made. The proliferation of contracted extra-mural work in different countries has shown the importance of adequate guidelines and careful consideration of how and what to regulate to reach desirable outcomes. In addition, contract archaeology provides insights into the difficulties of keeping together extra- and intra-mural knowledge-making enterprises even when they share the same outspoken objectives.

Archaeology and Archaeological Information in the Digital Society shows how the digitization of archaeological information, tools and workflows, and their interplay with both old and new non-digital practices throughout the archaeological information process, affect the outcomes of archaeological work, and in the end, our general understanding of the human past.

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COST-ARKWORK is a network funded by the COST scheme that brings together the multidisciplinary work of researchers of archaeological practices in the field of archaeological knowledge production and use. The aim of the network is to make a major push forward in the current state-of-the-art in knowing how archaeological knowledge is produced, how it is used and how to maximise its positive impact in the society.

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CApturing Paradata for documenTing data creation and Use for the REsearch of the future (CAPTURE) investigates what information about the creation and use of research data that is paradata) is needed and how to capture enough of that information to make the data reusable in the future. 

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