Reports are easy, data is difficult

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:35

Presentation at the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) 2017 conference in Maastricht.


Even if it is generally acknowledged that archaeological primary data is important to preserve and holds a major potential for future research and use for diverse purposes and field reports are often blamed of missing important details, the latter are conspicuously resilient as the principal informational outcomes of archaeological fieldwork. Based on an empirical interview and observation studies of Swedish archaeologists and archaeological information managers, the presetation discusses why reports are favoured in archaeological knowledge work and what makes the management and use of primary research data surprisingly difficult. Besides shedding light to the specific issue of the choice of information artefacts, a closer scrutiny of the paradox of reports and data helps to understand better the fundamental premises and perimeters of archaeological knowledgework and work practices both in field and beyond.

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