Archaeological data reuse: who’s doing what?

In the context of the TETRARCHs project, we’re investigating what is needed to make archaeological data more accessible for storytelling.

To better understand how people search for digital resources that allow them to tell stories, and what type of archaeological data these stories contain, we’ve created a short survey. This survey is specifically tailored for archaeological specialists – whether you’re an excavator, a researcher, a technical professional, and educator or anything in that constellation!

You can help us get a clearer picture of search behaviours, which will allow us to improve archaeological data for storytelling. Please could you take a few minutes to fill out our survey? Or perhaps you could help us by spreading the word about it? 

This survey has now closed.

The survey is open until end of day Friday 15 September. If you have any questions, please reach out on – your enquiry will be forwarded to PhD researcher Aida Fadioui.


Critical Contexts of Object Marking in Museums

Prof. Alice Stevenson

University College London, UK

21 September 2023, 16.30-17.30 GMT

small pot bearing inventory details written on it in ink, placed above a colour scale
Image source: Alice Stevenson

Physically applying or marking an object with a registration, inventory, or accession number is integral to its transition from cultural belonging or artefact into a museum object. The procedure of assigning a unique number or providing a contextual label is also identified as being an essential aspect of care in order to avoid one of the ten agents of deterioration that affect collections – dissociation – the accession number or markings often extending into and tethering an object within an ecosystem of related historical documentation. In collections management and care, whether or not to employ a particular marking technique is usually informed by the material properties of an object. This talk, however, reviews some of the cultural, religious, political, moral and ethical conditions that are equally important to consider and what this data does in a museum context. The significance of inscribing and re-inscribing numbers or other such marks is highlighted in moments where source communities are confronted with labels, particularly obtrusive ones, which may cause grief, anger, or confusion, but possibly also feelings of relief that the markings ensure that remains are identifiable as specific ancestors or items as sacred belongings. ​​ Markings can therefore be both bane and boon (something that is both a benefit and an affliction) as artefacts and cultural belongings transition from institution to institution, or from public museum back to community. Care thus needs to be extended to even those more taken for granted aspects of collections practice.

About the presenter

Prof. Alice Stevenson is Professor of Museum Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL), UK. She previously held positions as Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (2013-2017), Researcher in World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum (2009-2012) and Research Fellow in the Institute of Archaeology and Department of Information Studies (2007-2009). Between 2013 and 2017 she was the lead researcher and initiator of the AHRC-funded project ‘Artefacts of Excavation’, which explored the history and legacy of the dispersal of finds from British excavations in Egypt. She subsequently led the follow-on for impact project from this, ‘Egypt’s Dispersed Heritage’


Re-investing wealth and power in archaeology

Dr. Sara Perry

Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), UK

24 July 2023, 16.30-17.30 GMT

Slide advertising Dr Sara Perry’s upcoming talk on Re-investing wealth and power in Archaeology, including her name and contact details, and logos for TETRARCHs, MOLA, AHRC and CHANSE.

Inspired by Vanessa Andreotti’s (2021) reflections on disinvestment, in this talk I explore opportunities to redistribute wealth and power in UK archaeology and heritage in order to tackle local and systemic inequities. Archaeologists are regularly implicated in perpetuating harm and injustice upon people and planet through the extractive nature of their practices and the tools and systems (e.g., computational) that enable this work. Here, I consider what resistance and transitions to alternative ways of doing archaeology look like through a series of case studies drawn from my own and my collaborators’ work in academic, development-led, and citizen-led archaeological contexts. Through efforts to establish new small-scale and large-scale infrastructures to destabilise and reconceive power relations, I suggest that it is possible to re-invest in a more equitable form of archaeology—one which, following the work of Ricaurte (2019), necessarily embeds human dignity, justice, and respectful relations with the more-than-human world at its core.

Note: This presentation is a shortened version of the keynote talk that I delivered at the 50th conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology in April 2023, and an adaptation of a recent seminar for the Historic Environment Forum’s Foresight Day in June 2023. This will be a zoom presentation (joining details will be sent to registered participants closer to the time).

Dr Sara Perry is Director of Research and Engagement at MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), overseeing post-excavation, grant-funded research, communications and community programming, and Honorary Professor at the University of York. She is currently also the lead on several major national and international research and impact projects concerned with data, storytelling, audiences and digital transformation, including Accelerating Impact at MOLA (, Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology (, and Networks for Transformational Change ( 


Andreotti (Machado de Oliveira), Vanessa (2021) Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity’s Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Ricaurte, Paola (2019) Data Epistemologies, The Coloniality of Power, and Resistance. Television & New Media 20(4), 350-365,


TETRARCHs video introduction & CHANSE Kick-off conference  in Tallinn, Estonia, 1-2 June 2023

Several members of the TETRARCHs team (Sara Perry, Holly Wright, Nicolò Dell’Unto, James Tayor, Indrė Jovaišaitė-Blaževičienė, and Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw) participated in the CHANSE Kick-off conference in Tallinn, Estonia, on 1-2 June 2023.

TETRARCHs Project Leader, Dr. Sara Perry, presenting at the conference on the inspiration and goals of the project. Photo by Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw.

Project Leader Perry presented the premise and goals of the project to the rest of the conference participants, as well as engaged with informal discussions and feedback.

Below you will find a short video with Sara’s presentation, encapsulating the principles of the project, its importance for multiple stakeholders, and its potential impact on people’s lives.

You can find a transcript of this video at the end of the post.

The conference was also an opportunity for TETRARCHs to meet and discuss in person not only the project’s progress, but also wider issues: AI, stakeholders, as well as digital transformation in archaeology within the wider context of digital developments in Europe and beyond. The TETRARCHs team members were able to meet and liaise with other participants in both formal (lectures and discussions) and informal (networking) ways, in order to understand their different perspectives and research challenges.

Team members at the conference: (from R to L) Indrė Jovaišaitė-Blaževičienė, Sara Perry, Holly Wright, Nicolò Dell’Unto, James Tayor, Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw. Photo by Blen Taye.

Video transcript

Hello all. My name is Sara Perry. I am project leader on ‘Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology’, or TETRARCHs for short, and I am going to take you through a brief introduction to the TETRARCHs project using a set of slides that we deployed at a conference a couple of days ago in Tallinn, Estonia, the Kick-Off Conference of Collaboration of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe, or CHANSE, which is the scheme through which TETRARCHs and 25 other European projects focused on digital transformations, are being funded.

So, I wanted to start by having us do a little bit of an imaginative activity and maybe you wanna close your eyes, or maybe you just wanna conjure up your thinking and I would be grateful if you can spend a moment reflecting on what comes to your mind when I refer to archaeology, what comes into your head when I use the term ‘archaeology’.

  • What does archaeology evoke for you?
  • What does the practise of archaeology make you feel?
  • What thoughts, what kind of imaginings does archaeology conjure up for you?
  • What does archaeology mean to you?

Now some of you may hear the word ‘archaeology’ and absolutely nothing comes to your mind. Maybe archaeology is meaningless to you.
Others might be thinking: “Ohh, I’m reminded of a movie or video game that I or a family member, friend has played. Or, I’m thinking about a book that has an archaeological theme.” Or maybe you’re reminded of the experiences that you’ve had in a museum or a historic site that you’ve visited. Or you’re thinking about an artefact that you’ve heard of. Or perhaps you’re thinking about stories on the news or social media about new finds that have emerged through archaeological excavations. Perhaps you’re actually thinking about stories of the destruction or appropriation of your own or others’ cultural heritage. Whatever you do or do not think about archaeology, it is around us all the time. Wherever we go, we are literally standing atop, or sat atop it right now. It will have been removed from or destroyed to make way for the place where you are sat or standing at right now. You yourselves or the belongings that you have on you right now might become future archaeological finds. Archaeology is the material remains of our lives and it is incredibly powerful in the sense that the narratives it can tell us about humans and materials and relationships to the environment can make us completely rethink what it means to be human and how we live our lives now and in the future.

The problem is that most archaeological data is not actually accessible and what is accessible has usually been stripped of most of its humanity and complexity, and therefore its capacity to express critical narratives about different ways of life, because of how we have acquired and structured archaeological data. The fallout here is that archaeology thus tends to be conceived of simplistically. It is regularly reduced to stereotypes, and it is therefore easily deployed in propaganda in conspiracy theories and in oppressive manoeuvres to control and subjugate and polarise people and planet.

So this is what TETRARCHs or ‘Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology’ is all about. It’s about rethinking how we acquire and structure archaeological data in order for it to be the basis of evidence and narratives and experiences that can create a more just, equitable, and complex, but still hopeful present and future for European citizens. We are a team of nearly 20 researchers and professionals from cultural institutions, charities, business and university, working across six countries. We are variously experienced at deploying digital data acquisition technologies, for example, LIDAR or 3D capture or geospatial modelling, and other digital illustrative and photographic tools and software. We are experienced in developing and critiquing vocabulary and ontologies and schema for structuring data, as well as in building and housing data in local and international data repositories. We are also highly experienced in working across communities, especially communities that have been historically disadvantaged or undermined by people in power, including by archaeologists themselves. We’re experienced in working across these communities to understand and facilitate different, more productive and beneficial relationships between them and the institutions and individuals that control or shape connections to their own cultural heritage.

In the end, on TETRARCHs we are working to reach and impact three main audiences.

  • For heritage professionals, including archaeologists, we are seeking to develop new methods for gathering and structuring, or not structuring as the case may be, archaeological data in ways that are more just and equitable, and therefore that are conducive to generating more just and equitable narratives about the past.
  • For cultural institutions, we are creating reference materials to support them in integrating these data and narratives into their everyday practices, ensuring that archaeology is actually used as it should be: to think more critically, complexly, and in evolving ways about the world around us.
  • And for creative and media practitioners and local citizens, we are developing a platform and providing incentives for all of these individuals to use this platform in order to search for and create more meaningful narratives from archaeological data.

I hope I’ve managed to pique your interest about TETRARCHs and please do get in touch, as there’s so much more to say and we’d love to hear from you. Reach out on hello[at] or through our website

Thank you.



Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology (TETRARCHs) aims to commission 2 creative professionals to work with our team to co-create and assess the storytelling potential of archaeological data.

Host organisation:

The Department of Archaeology at the University of York is a top rated archaeology department, located in the centre of historic York, UK. We are developing new methods of exploring and visualising ancient landscapes, excavating sites, analysing ancient artefacts, human and animal bones, pioneering the biomolecular study of all manner of organic and inorganic compounds, and conserving our shared heritage in order to tell diverse stories and build a sustainable future.

The Research Project:

TETRARCHs: Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology is experimenting with ways archaeologists collect data and use that data for storytelling in ways that are meaningful for diverse audiences. It is funded by the Collaboration of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe CHANSE, which is a joint initiative of 27 research funding organisations from 24 countries, under European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


Sara Perry, Project Leader (MOLA), Holly Wright, Co-I (University of York), Rimvydas Laužikas, PI (Vilnius University), Edisa Lozić, PI (Znanstvenoraziskovalni center Slovenske akademije znanosti in umetnosti), Nicolò Dell’Unto PI (Lund University), Helene Verreyke, PI (University of Antwerp), Christophe Verbruggen (Ghent University)

Colleen Morgan (University of York) will be leading this process.

Emergent Themes:

Our project includes archaeology data collection at three different scales – from whole landscapes, to single sites, to individual objects. We’ll explore these using four increasingly common technologies for data capture: airborne LiDAR, 3D scanning, digital field drawing and photography.

The following themes have emerged from the current understanding of the project:

  • What might justice, resistance, insecurity, fear, jealousy, hope, romance, spirituality or courage have looked like in the past? 
  • How have people deceived, coped with, played amongst, desired, envied, betrayed or befriended one another across space and time? 
  • How does loneliness, ambition, prejudice, morality, independence, servitude or freedom manifest in the historical record? How might we deploy this knowledge today to effect pro-social change?
Creative Commission:

TETRARCHs aims to commission 2 creative professionals to work with the TETRARCHs team to co-create and assess the storytelling potential of the optimised data. They will identify archaeological data that is meaningful to their practice and to feed back into the process of archaeological investigation. During this time creatives will attend archaeological excavations, participate in project meetings (10 total virtual partner meetings + 1 in person meeting, expenses paid by TETRARCHs), and use the TETRARCHs resources to undertake original research which will result in a creative output. Creative practitioners will then collaborate on a reflection on their experience in the project for publication in a forum relevant to their practice (e.g., an industry magazine, a local radio programme, a YouTube channel, etc.).

Who Are We Looking For?

We aim to commission creatives working in a range of forms including visual arts, music and sound, film, dance, creative writing, design, photography and other forms. Of particular interest are practitioners who want to explore an interest in archaeology and the past. Good communication skills are essential for this project, as it is highly interactive. Willingness to travel to fieldwork sites is desirable.

Applications are sought from creatives across Europe, with particular attention given to those from or living in the project partner countries (United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Slovenia, and Lithuania). We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those under-represented in archaeology, and those who self-identify as being from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME/Global Majority) background. 

Fees and expenses (per person):

Creative subcontracting: £7675.50; We are matching rates with the Artists’ Union England rates of pay, at 255.85 per day, for 30 days of work for artists with 3+ years of experience

Artists can invoice for a total of up to £12,000 inclusive of VAT over the life of the project to include freelance and short contract employment fees and supplementary costs (such as travel, materials, and other costs associated with the production of the creative work). Note that this pay will occur in three tranches, £5,000 at the start of the project, £5,000 at the mid-point, and £2,000 upon completion of the work.

Creative Process Timescale:

May 2023: Creative Brief Circulated

July 28 2023: Deadline for creative proposals. Submissions due by midnight GMT

August 2023: Shortlist of creatives will be contacted for interviews

August 2023: Creative professionals will be interviewed 

August 2023: Commissioned creatives will be notified and briefing sessions will be arranged

September 2023 – March 2024: Commissioned creatives work with researchers to identify elements in archaeological data that correspond to their creative needs

March 2024 – July 2024: Commissioned creatives produce work in response to this data

August 15 2024: Creatives submit final work to TETRARCHs and publish their reflections in relevant outlet

Application Process:

To apply to this opportunity please provide:

  • A CV detailing relevant experience
  • Examples of previous work
  • A one-page expression of interest letter which details:
    • Why you are interested in this project and any previous interest or experience working with archaeological or historical materials
    • A summary or proposal detailing how you will approach this work, including the creative forms you will use
    • Any information about your background relevant to the points outlined in the “who are we looking for” section above
  • Details for two referees. These can be other collaborators, instructors, gallery staff, or others who can comment on your background experience.

A selection panel will meet to review the applications and will contact all successful applicants.

If you have not heard from us by the end of August 2023, please assume your application is unsuccessful. 

For any further information or to submit your application please email:

This call has now ended.


Improving data reuse in archaeology: Exploring the role of 3D web archives in supporting archaeological practice

Prof. Nicolò Dell’Unto

Lund University, Sweden

08 June 2023, 16.30-17.30 GMT

In recent years, significant investments have been made worldwide to build data platforms to support large-scale research and innovation in the cultural heritage field. While these platforms have proven valuable, their design often falls short of facilitating in-depth interactions with digital materials.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought these limitations to the forefront as digital archives were transformed from mere reference sources to the only available resources for conducting research. This situation highlighted the urgent need to develop strategies to redefine digital archives as primary research tools and to provide comprehensive support for scholars working in the digital realm.

This presentation focuses on the potential of using 3D web archives to enhance archaeological research. It explores the benefits of 3D models in encouraging the adoption of new documentation and archival practices, thereby enabling scholars to engage in transformative research in the digital space.

About the presenter

Nicolò Dell’Unto is Professor of Digital Archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University. He studied archaeology at the University of Rome, La Sapienza. Upon completion of his Master’s, he had a joint appointment as a research assistant at the Institute for Technologies Applied to Cultural Heritage, ITABC-CNR, Italy. There, he took part in several international projects for 3D documentation and visualization of archaeological sites through the use of digital techniques. Later, he obtained a PhD in technologies and management of cultural heritage at the Institute for Advanced Studies, IMT Lucca, Italy. Since August 2019, he has been visiting Professor at the Department of Collection Management at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.


The TETRARCHs project is represented at CAA 2023 with a session on data reuse

TETRARCHs Project Leader Sara Perry (MOLA) and Co-Investigator Holly Wright (Archaeology Data Service (ADS), University of York) are co-hosting a session on Thursday 6 April entitled “How do we ensure archaeological data are usable and Reusable, and for whom? Putting the R in FAIR for archaeology’s data” (session no. 29) at the 2023 Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) in Amsterdam.

We are proud to be able to host a line-up of 18 different talks, with contributions from countries around Europe, the Americas and the UK, and representation from a variety of institutions – academic, professional, charitable, governmental.

A full, updated list of the papers, their authors, and timings for the presentations is available here.

If you are in Amsterdam for the conference, you can find Holly, Sara and our fantastic group of presenters in Room E106 at the RAI Convention Centre.

Thursday, 06/04/2023, 08.30-17.50 CEST

E106, RAI Amsterdam Conference Centre

Session Abstract

The last decade has seen extensive efforts to make digital assets more accessible and dynamic through experimentation with interoperability in cultural heritage aggregation infrastructures (e.g., the Europeana or ARIADNE portals). Such infrastructures allow static resources to be updated and cross-searched, but to do so, the metadata for these assets must be mapped in a centralised and controlled way. This can take the shape of mapping to a controlled vocabulary, thesaurus or ontology, which invariably reflects the types of terminology and relationships defined by those who are charged with curating the data (domain specialists), not those who might use the data in new and innovative ways.

Digital data curation for cultural heritage has therefore reached a critical impasse. A central tension exists between the need to preserve cultural resources, and the dynamic potential for their use and reuse in democratic, just and compelling ways. At the same time, the introduction of the tetrarchy of FAIR Guiding Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) for scientific data management and stewardship (Wilkinson et al. 2016) has set an important challenge: that each of the four principles is of equivalent importance and must therefore be engaged with equally.

Within archaeology, much work has been done over the last 20 years to make data Findable, Accessible and Interoperable, but very little is understood about whether data are Reusable–and by whom (Wright and Richards 2018). The impact of this gap in knowledge is profound, as cultural heritage data are increasingly drawn into divisive debates, dangerous speech, cross-border misinformation-sharing and xenophobia, therein compromising human solidarity and social cohesion (e.g., Bonacchi and Krzyzanska 2021). Newly-funded through the Transformations: Social and cultural dynamics in the digital age programme of the Collaboration of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe (CHANSE) Consortium, Transforming Data Re-use in Archaeology (TETRARCHs) argues that the future of digital curation depends upon reconciling this divide between collection and reuse. It aims to demonstrate that data optimised for ethical and emotive storytelling will provide the bridge between those who find or preserve heritage assets, and the diverse cross-European audiences for whom they might generate meaning.

TETRARCHs builds upon international initiatives which seek to improve the accessibility of digital cultural heritage data via interfacing with those data: browsing them, searching them, and retrieving them in more ‘generous’ ways (e.g., Whitelaw 2015). However, even as such experimentation grows, the assets themselves continue to be bound by relatively narrow classifications imposed by experts. Herein structure and reliability are maintained, but relevance and accessibility to the wider world remain limited (Manzo et al. 2015). The stories that can be told through the data are often narrow and pre-determined, with the vast majority devoid of affect, sensuality and agency (Krmpotich and Somerville 2016). The urgency of the predicament is heightened by growing interdisciplinary acknowledgement that this rift is directly linked to systemic bias, social inequity and racial injustice in data repositories (Sanderson and Clemens 2020). Efforts to rectify these biases include archival redescription (Pringle 2020), revised ethical metadata standards (Farnel 2018), felt-experience conceptual model extensions (Canning 2018), and alternative ‘fluid ontologies’ (Srinivasan 2018). The imperative for change to data infrastructures is overt. Yet recognition that such change must begin from the moment the data are conceived (as opposed to the moment they are deposited into a repository) has been slow in coming.

Furthering our argument is the rapid pace of innovation with data acquisition technologies (Morgan et al. 2021), whose workflows still fail to capture important descriptive detail, emotion, human values and multiple viewpoints. Even as community-driven practices grow in popularity, fundamental redesign of our workflows and data to embed communities and justice at their core is still lacking (Dolcetti et al. 2021). Design Justice frameworks enabling such value-led, co-created redesign of digital structures are blossoming (Costanza-Chock 2020), but their systematic use in fields like archaeology is effectively nonexistent.

Through an interdisciplinary team of archaeological specialists, data scientists, and museum practitioners, collaborating with three key user groups – domain experts, creative practitioners, and memory institutions – TETRARCHs will offer those who gather, curate and apply cultural heritage data with critically-aware workflows to prepare their data for enhanced re-use at every point in the data lifecycle (e.g., capture, mapping, lab-based analysis), then scenario-test such re-use through the dissemination of new narrative outputs authored by cross-European creative practitioners. The project embraces three scales of data collection in archaeology – landscape, site and artefact – exploring them via four increasingly ubiquitous technologies for data capture: airborne LiDAR, 3D scanning, digital field drawing and photography.

Alongside novel workflows for field, post-excavation and archival practice, TETRARCHs will produce a controlled vocabulary for cultural heritage storytelling, assessments of data reuse effectiveness following ISO Standard 25022: Measurement of Quality in Use, and best practice recommendations for trusted digital repositories to optimise archaeological data for re-use. This session invites papers on the use and reuse of archaeological data, including case studies, examples of challenges and good practices, provocations and blue-sky thinking for the future of data re/use. Contributors may wish to engage with the themes of TETRARCHs or stretch beyond them. By hosting this session early in the life of TETRARCHs, we hope to foster discussion and collaboration with others who have comparable interests, and ensure that our outcomes are shaped in concert with such intersecting work, and are meaningful to the CAA community at large.


Session papers (from the the CAA 2023 book of abstracts, found here)

08:30 – 08:50

“Is this your first visit to Avebury?” – Creating, Using, and Reusing Archaeological Data in the Avebury Papers
Fran Allfrey (University of York); Ben Chan (University of Bournemouth); Ros Cleal (National Trust); Mark Gillings (University of Bournemouth); Colleen Morgan (GB)

08:50 – 09:10

Digital Marginalia in Archaeological Archives Sveta Matskevich (IAA)

09:10 – 09:30

How Can Imagination Lead Us from Description to Interpretation in Archaeological Practice?
Tessa Poller (University of Glasgow)

09:30 – 09:50

The Dynamic Collections – a 3D Web Platform of Archaeological Artefacts designed for Data Reuse and Deep Interaction.
Marco Callieri (ISTI-CNR); Åsa Berggren (Lund University); Nicolò Dell’Unto (Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Lund University);
Paola Derudas (Lund University); Domenica Dininno (Lund University); Fredrik Ekengren (Lund University); Giuseppe Naponiello (Lund Unicersity)

09:50 – 10:10


10:10 – 10:30

Managing Archaeological Knowledge: A Researcher’s Perspective
Meliha Handzic (International Burch University)

11:00 – 11:20

From thesaurus to semantic network: make (re)usable the ANRJCJC Itineris data
Thomas Huet (University of Oxford, School of Archaeology); Cicolani Veronica (CNRS); Guillaume Reich (Frantiq); Sebastien Durost (Bibracte)

11:20 – 11:40

True integration: moving from just finding archives to interpreting archaeological documentation utilising CRMarchaeo
Jane Jansen (Statens Historiska Museer Arkeologerna); Stephen Stead (GB)

11:40 – 12:00

The reusability of geospatial data in archaeology using web applications: PEPAdb.
Galo Romero-García (Universidad de Sevilla); Daniel Sánchez Gómez (University of Seville); José Ángel Garrido-Cordero (Universidad de Sevilla); Carlos P. Odriozola (Universidad de Sevilla)

12:00 – 12:20

Reuse of photogrammetric data seen from different perspectives: creators, repository providers and users
Andreas Noback (Technical University of Darmstadt); Claudia A. Maechler (Technical University of Darmstadt)

12:20 – 12:40


12:40 – 13:00

The Penfield African American Cemetery Project: Geophysics and Digital Archives for the Public
Robert Theberge (Georgia State University); Jeffrey B Glover (Georgia State University); Spencer Roberts (Emory University)

14:00 – 14:20

Data from the past? The challenge of reusing the Finnish Heritage Agency’s archaeological data
Johanna Roiha (University of Helsinki)

14:20 – 14:40

High Speed 2 vs Unpath’d Waters: Which will need the most corrections?
Evelyn A Curl (Archaeology Data Service); Teagan K Zoldoske (Archaeology Data Service); Jamie G Geddes (Archaeology Data Service)

14:40 – 15:00

How FAIR is bioarchaeological data: with a particular emphasis on making archaeological science data reusable
Alphaeus G W Lien-Talks (University of York, Historic England, Archaeology Data Service)

15:00 – 15:20


15:20 – 15:40

Urban Deep Mapping: The Potential for Meaning Making and Social Benefit in Urban Archive Reuse
Claire Boardman (University of York)

15:40 – 16:00

Semantic Computing Solutions for Opening Archaeological Citizen Science Data
Eljas Oksanen (University of Helsinki); Frida Ehrnsten; Heikki Rantala (Aalto University); Eero Hyvonen (Aalto University and University of Helsinki)

16:30 – 16:50

The understanding of re-use and barriers to re-use of archaeological data. The quality in use methodological approach
Rimvydas Laužikas (Vilnius University Faculty of Communication); Kristy-Lee Seaton (University of York); Holly Wright (University of York); Keith May (Historic England); Peter McKeague (Historic Environment Scotland); Vera Moitinho de Almeida (University of Porto)

16:50 – 17:10

Reuse and the Archaeology Data Service
Holly Wright (University of York)

17:10 – 17:30

Friction, Stiction, and Maybe Some Fiction: Travels and Travails in Digital Data
Jeremy Huggett (University of Glasgow)

17:30 – 17:50



Exploring the Reuse of Digital Field Data at Toumba Serron in Northern Greece

Dr James Taylor

University of York, UK


Excavations at Toumba Serron, Northern Greece, 2022 (photograph by James Taylor, courtesy of the Toumba Serron Research Project)

The ‘Toumba Serron Research Project’ (TSRP) is a field project centred upon the late/final Neolithic village site of Toumba Serron, situated in the dynamic lakeland environment of the northern side of the Strymon River Valley in Northern Greece. The TSRP is focussed upon dating the site and understanding the social and economic structure of the communities that lived there, as well as studying the wider prehistoric landscape of the Strymon Valley.

As a collaboration between the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, the Greek Ministry of Culture, and Lund University, the TSRP is developing a hybrid digital field recording methodology, which includes the use of drones and the capturing of 3D models in the field. It also includes the construction of a comprehensive Geographic Information System and the digitisation of all data recorded during the excavation. Having engaged an ethnographer from the outset, the project is also working with a variety of local and regional stakeholders to collate oral histories of the site, understand its value and significance, and is actively seeking to develop an inclusive approach to the creation of knowledge about the site, articulated through the project’s digital assets.

In doing so we are exploring the tensions highlighted by the impact of digital field methods upon archaeological practice (see Taylor et al. 2018, Taylor & Dell’Unto 2021) and the fact that ‘structured’ digital excavation data is not necessarily a panacea for enabling reuse of ‘archaeological knowledge’ by all the project’s stakeholders (after Hacıgüzeller et al. 2021). However, drawing inspiration from William Caraher’s (2019) concept of an ‘Archaeology of Care’, which explicitly seeks to recognise” the human consequences of our technology, our methods, and the pasts that they create”, the project is actively seeking to explore what a critically aware, inclusive and mutually supportive digital research environment looks like within a modern, postcolonial archaeological project.

Since TSRP will serve as a case study for TEtrARCHs, in this seminar we will outline the project’s plan to develop a participatory approach to the design and (re)use of digital technologies in the co-creation of archaeological knowledge derived from fieldwork. We will seek to explore how we might build an accessible and reusable digital field archive and invite discussion on how we can use digital tools to develop an inclusive and ethical approach to digital data collection, management and stewardship, and how we might facilitate the critical involvement of indigenous communities in the production of useful archaeological knowledge. In doing so we ask: can we increase multivocality in our data sets, recognize the plurality of meanings present in the archaeological record and afford all project stakeholders equity of access and control over archaeological data?


Digital Archaeology, Field Recording, Participatory Methods, Greece, Neolithic, Prehistory


Caraher, W., (2019) ‘Slow Archaeology, Punk Archaeology, and the “Archaeology of Care.’ European Journal of Archaeology, 22(3), 372–385

Hacıgüzeller, P., Taylor, J. & Perry, S. (2021) ‘On the Emerging Supremacy of Structured Digital Data in Archaeology: A Preliminary Assessment of Information, Knowledge and Wisdom Left Behind’. Open Archaeology, 7(1), 1709-1730.

Taylor, J. & Dell’Unto, N. (2021) ‘Skeuomorphism in digital archeological practice: A barrier to progress, or a vital cog in the wheels of change?’. Open Archaeology, 7(1), 482–498.

Taylor, J., Issavi, J., Berggren, Å, Lukas, D., Mazzucato, C., Tung, B., Dell’Unto, N. (2018) ‘‘The Rise of the Machine’: the impact of digital tablet recording in the field at Çatalhöyük’. Internet Archaeology 47.

About the presenter

Dr. James Taylor is a Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, at the University of York. He is the Director of Studies for the MA Field Archaeology and also co-directs the MSc Digital Archaeology and Digital Heritage programmes (with Dr. Colleen Morgan).

His research currently centres on Neolithic Archaeology of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Near East and he is currently Co-Director of the Toumba Serron Research Project, an archaeological investigation centred on a Neolithic village in Greek Macedonia. He also has a longstanding research interest in Archaeological Theory and Method and in particular the application of Digital Methods in Archaeology, having published on the impact of the ‘Digital Turn’ on archaeological practice.


What can data do for us?

An online seminar series hosted by the TETRARCHs team, 2023-2025.

How we re-use data is a topic of pressing importance across professions, fields of practice, organisations and communities locally and around the world. We may question how existing datasets (e.g., personal data, object-related data, geographic data, environmental data, economic data, or any form of data, metadata or paradata) are being applied to address new social issues or to think creatively about long-standing cultural concerns. We can query if, how and why we are using these data to achieve forms of innovation or to foster just, equitable and sustainable futures for human and more-than-human communities. And we must ask whether these data are actually structured in fashions that can realistically facilitate justice, equity or sustainability.

What can data do for us? is a 3-year online seminar series (2023-2025) centred around exploring and challenging approaches to data reuse in the arts, culture and social sciences, and showcasing unusual or provocative experiments in such reuse. Through one-hour webinars, international speakers working across industry, the charitable sector, the educational and academic sectors, government and beyond are invited to inspire and stretch us into considering the social and cultural impacts of our myriad datasets and what can and cannot be achieved in today’s data landscape. This series is a product of TETRARCHs (Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology), an international research project supported by CHANSE (Collaboration of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe). TETRARCHs aims to experiment with the re-use of archaeological data (from photos and illustrations, reports and captions, to 3D reconstructions and LIDAR) to tell stories and share findings about the past in ways that are democratic, stimulating and nurturing of more just futures. In so doing, we hope to transform approaches to data reuse not only within archaeology and history, but across cultural spheres more broadly.

If you are interested in contributing to our seminar series, please get in touch with us at: hello[at] .

TETRARCHs is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the UK, the Research Council of Lithuania, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport in Slovenia, the FORTE Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare in Sweden, and the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) in Belgium under the CHANSE ERA-NET Co-fund programme, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement no 101004509.


February 2023: Our First TETRARCHs Seminar

Edisa Lozić and Benjamin Štular

“Making archaeological LiDAR more accessible: why and how”


In the last two decades, archaeological LiDAR has become an essential part of archaeological prospection and landscape archaeology. However, it is too often used as an opaque digital method, which keeps it within the realm of a specialist field. We believe that steps towards theoretically aware, impactful, and reproducible research are needed.

Recently we have taken several steps in this direction. First, we have focused our attention on enabling LiDAR specialists to effortlessly create the necessary meta- and paradata and also to implement archaeology-specific processing of LiDAR data from point cloud to enhanced visualisations. Currently, we are focusing on enabling “general” archaeologists, that is, non-LiDAR specialists, to critically engage with LiDAR data and derived archaeological information. In other words, to understand archaeological LiDAR as a reciprocal practice of knowledge creation, while acknowledging the circumstances in which this knowledge is created, thus viewing technology as a process and not just a product. To this end, we have developed a concept and demonstrator for an Executable Map Paper (EMaP). EMaP is a type of executable paper that strives to achieve the goals of Open Science. The proposed technical solution is based on a PDF frontend, a persistency layer, and a hyperlinked interactive map. The concept is applicable to all map-reliant science, such as geography, geology, or any kind of geoscience.

In this talk we will present the opening up of archaeological LiDAR, from theoretical background to past and current results and an outlook on the near future.

About the presenters

Assist. Prof. Dr. Edisa Lozić is a researcher at ZRC SAZU specialising in archaeological LiDAR, artificial intelligence in cultural heritage, and Classical Archaeology.

She is project leader of the research project Identifying quarries in the Roman Pannonia and principal investigator of the AI4Europe and TEtrARCHs projects. She lectured at universities in Austria and Slovenia and is author of a scientific monograph and numerous articles published in international journals as well as co-author of the Open LiDAR Toolbox software.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Benjamin Štular is a research advisor at ZRC SAZU. His background is in landscape archaeology and GIS. He has over a decade of experience in airborne LiDAR, including algorithm and software development. In addition, he is involved in digital data management for cultural heritage both as a researcher and in implementation at institutional and national level. Currently, he is focusing on machine learning applications in spatial analysis.

He published numerous scientific books and articles and is co-author of the Open LiDAR Toolbox software. He lectured at universities in the USA, Ireland, Austria, and Slovenia, and managed and coordinated numerous research projects including as a project leader of the ERC pilot project Methodological Maturity of Airborne LiDAR in Archaeology and as a partner principal investigator on ARIADNE and ARIADNEplus.