Archaeology and the new technological fetishism

Huggett, J. (2004) Archaeology and the new technological fetishism. Archeologia e Calcolatori, 15, pp. 81-92.

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Almost everything that is written or said about the use of information technology within archaeology relates to hardware and applications and there is a general poverty of (published) material which considers the implications of the application and use of these tools on the way that the discipline of archaeology is practised. Although we are generally comfortable with the idea that technology has changed the way we live our everyday lives, and the ever-increasing pace of that change, for some reason there appears to be a general reluctance to consider that such changes and the pace of these changes may also impact on archaeology. This paper proposes that computer-using archaeologists have for too long ignored a critical area of research: the consequences of the new information and communication technologies we use. Archaeologists point with justifiable pride to the tradition of self-critical analysis of new ideas and methodological changes within the subject. Archaeologists question their data, their methodologies, their theories, their conclusions, the very basis of their subject, yet it appears that archaeology operates within a “bubble”, somehow immune to the consequences of the new technologies that are more and more a part of both the world around us and of archaeology itself. Furthermore, archaeologists are accustomed to theorising about technological changes in the past (ranging from new flint technologies, bronze and iron working, the evolution of the plough, developments in literacy, and so on), and may bring new perspectives to contemporary analysis of the technological world around us.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Huggett, Dr Jeremy
Authors: Huggett, J.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Archeologia e Calcolatori

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