Date of Award

December 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Robert J Sherman

Committee Members

Bettina Arnold, Kevin J Garstki


Digital Archaeology, Ethics, Open Access


Archaeological investigations produce massive amounts of data, yet these data are often sequestered by the original researchers or put behind paywalls that restrict access to academic publications. This inaccessibility makes it difficult to justify the destructive nature of archaeology. Open-access digital data management systems such as the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) provide archaeologists with new ways to preserve, share, and, most importantly, reuse archaeological data to combat this issue of data sustainability. The goal of this project is to investigate how these digital repositories allow for ethically responsible data access and reuse, thus mitigating the cycle of destruction, hoarding, and inaccessibility. Two tDAR-based case studies form the core of this research: the Mimbres Pottery Images Digital Database (MimPIDD) and the Salt River Project Digital Library (SRPDL). This study examines the structure, content, accessibility, and instances of reuse of the case studies as well as quantifiable interactions with their content, including view and download patterns. These analytics are discussed alongside the FAIR and CARE Principles of digital stewardship and the guidelines for data access and management established by stakeholders. By analyzing these factors alongside specific instances of data reuse in academic and public spheres, this project demonstrates how MimPIDD and SRPDL use digital dissemination platforms to create opportunities for meaningful interactions with their data. These accessible and reusable projects should serve as blueprints for the future of ethical and accessible data management in archaeological research and beyond.