From Order to Chaos:
Publication, Synthesis and the Dissemination of Data in a Digital Age

Vince Gaffney and Sally Exon

Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom. Phone +44 121 414 5513, Fax +44 121 414 5516.
Vince Gaffney: s.c.exon@bham.ac.uk, Sally Exon: v.l.gaffney@bham.ac.uk.

In the past, the provision of authoritative, interpretative, syntheses is what archaeologists sought through publication. Now the first real challenge of the digital age has been to balance this trend and in contrast to archaeological practice over the last two decades, we are seeing a shift toward the dissemination of raw data. This move towards dissemination to put it on an equal footing with publication and synthesis is both irrevocable and fundamental. The provision of interactive data will begin to allow the formation of new relationships between archaeologists, archaeological organisations and the practice of archaeology.
The range of digital provision which may be expected within a medium-sized archaeological organisation, is demonstrated with reference to the situation at the University of Birmingham and Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit (BUFAU).


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