2019 Meeting

The Digital Data Interest Group will convene at the 84th Annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Albuquerque, NM (April 10-14, 2019).

Interest Group Meeting Details


DDIG Sponsored Sessions

Capacity Building or Community Making? Training and Transitions in Digital Archaeology
Chair: Dr. Katherine Cook

The position of digital scholarship in archaeology is continuously evolving alongside technologies, career structures and funding opportunities. Nevertheless, critiques of the limited use and reuse of digital data, advanced data management practices, and innovative applications for dissemination consistently hinge on the lack of training, digital literacy and knowledge for the widespread development of digital theory and practice in archaeology. It is increasingly clear that this issue is complex and multidimensional, taking in different demographics, specializations, and perspectives in archaeology, and is also deeply entangled in issues of funding, access, inclusivity, expertise, and privilege. The solution, then, must also be multi-dimensional, flexible and innovative to create stronger foundations for digital applications and stewardship. The development of active and supportive communities of networked researchers, data managers and developers, advocates, instructors and students will also be vital to shaping digital scholarship in future.

Repeated calls for better training and support have been heard for more than a decade at the SAA meetings, ranging from demands for more bootstrapping and shared resources in 2006 and capacity building in 2009 to more recent concerns with the persistent lack of digital literacy in 2016 and 2017. This session will therefore bring together diverse approaches to transitioning students, organizations, institutions, and descendant and stakeholder communities toward more effective digital practice through training, mentorship, and support across sectors (CRM, heritage/museums, academia) and levels of training/education. Papers will include models and case studies in training and mentorship, but also critical discussions of inclusivity and equity, ethical practice and accountability, authority and expertise, and the position of digital scholarship within the discipline. It is the intention of this session to take stock of existing practices in capacity building to stimulate new initiatives, resource development and knowledge mobilization with the express interest of contributing to the growth of strong communities of digitally-engaged scholars.

Openness & Sensitivity: Practical Concerns In Taking Archaeological Data Online, Electronic Symposium
Chairs: Dr. Kelsey Noack Myers and Jolene Smith

The volume of digital archaeological data available online has increased dramatically in recent decades. Maturing technical infrastructure allows for increased discoverability, usability, and higher resolution of data reporting. In this rapidly changing information landscape, considerations for archaeological data sensitivity are more critical than ever. While it is understood that disclosing archaeological site locations could lead to looting and site destruction, it’s imperative to consider information beyond geospatial data, and to acknowledge the consequences of releasing, transmitting, and storing data online. How can we effectively assess risk to balance protecting information with open science ideals? When we choose to release or withhold archaeological data, how can we avoid reproducing exploitative, colonialist structures that have the power to harm descendent communities? What practical steps can we take, and how have we adjusted our procedural guidelines to keep pace with the rapidly-changing world of digital data online?

Visit the session website