1 Introduction

Numerous valuable documentation sets of older excavations are still poorly accessible due either to the complete lack of publication or to the partial, narrow-scope and old-fashioned presentation of their results in print. By using Internet technology they can be made available worldwide in a much more complex and integrated form. One may advance the theory that making archaeological archives available through the Internet is an undertaking even more valuable to the scientific community than providing access to the e-versions of the "paper" publications.

Electronically published books and periodicals radically improve the chances of obtaining an example of a given title. The traditional version is usually only printed in hundreds or perhaps thousands of copies, while on-line publications can be disseminated to any number of readers. Archives that accompany such on-line publications provide access to quite unique source material that may exist as a single printed copy.

The importance of the idea of on-line archives is all the more appreciated, when one considers that the very procedure of obtaining access to the collection in its traditional form is much more complex in the case of archives than books (distance to the archive, special permissions, bad state of preservation of materials etc.). All attempts at applying technical resources to reduce the barrier of archive accessibility in recent decades (microfilm, photocopy, etc.) were merely half measures, only effective on a small scale. It is due to the development of information technology that these obstacles could have been radically defeated of by the creation of on-line archives. [Richards 2003].


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