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Mobile platforms, paperless recording systems, and High Density Survey and Measurement techniques are a new frontier for archaeological documentation. But like all frontiers, the borderland at the intersection of the material and digital offers both opportunity and unexpected hazards. This response calls for a critical perspective on digital methods and approaches in archaeology, and examines the other contributions to the volume from three perspectives: celebratory, reflexive, and cautionary. These perspectives are framed within three manifestos that praise, ponder, or criticize the effects of new technologies—and the historical, social, or economic contexts of those technologies—on their users. The reader is urged to consider how the replacement of analogue with digital tools conditions knowledge production in the field of archaeology; how the dependency of archaeologists on the producers of digital tools affects possibilities for the long-term preservation and reuse of archaeological documentation; and what might happen when the language and framework of “disruption” and the “innovation cycle” is transferred to archaeological research. Two particular areas of inquiry are proposed for future research: embodied cognition, in terms of physical engagement with different tools; and the extension of mobile or wearable data collectors to the documentation of the practice and habits of the archaeologists themselves.

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The Digital Press @ University of North Dakota


Grand Forks, North Dakota


critical theory, entanglement, embodied cognition, Futurism, haptics, transhumanism, capitalism


Classical Archaeology and Art History

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

5.2. Response: Mobilizing (Ourselves) for a Critical Digital Archaeology