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Beyond outlining some of the experiences and outcomes of the conversion of the University of Cincinnati’s excavations at Pompeii to a “paperless” project, particularly through the highly publicized adoption of iPads to record our archaeological fieldwork, this paper is about our discipline’s polarized response to such developments. In particular, it aims to set the pessimism about paperless methods, held by a sizable demographic, within a wider socio-academic context. Much of it is about admitting we have a problem: that is, a disciplinary consternation for changes to the ways we record data and produce knowledge in the field. More than a defense of the use of tablet computers over pieces of paper to record archaeological fieldwork, what follows is ultimately a call to balance our commonly romanticized views of experience and tradition in the ways we do things with the intellectual value in exploring new ideas and developments in core methodology.

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The Digital Press @ University of North Dakota


Grand Forks, North Dakota


archaeological recording, digital data, fieldwork, iPad, paperless archaeology;, Pompeii, tablets


Classical Archaeology and Art History

Creative Commons License

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

1.2. Are We Ready for New (Digital) Ways to Record Archaeological Fieldwork? A Case Study from Pompeii