HeritageTogether is the umbrella name for a research collaboration between Bangor, Manchester Metropolitan and Aberystwyth universities, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, and a collective of volunteer digital archaeologists working on recording the prehistoric archaeological heritage of north Wales (and beyond). The project uses digital photographic techniques as well as recent developments in digital 3D modelling, and relies on 'citizen scientists' to contribute data (photographs) as the basis for its analysis. The research outputs of the project include contemporary condition surveys of sites, which will prove invaluable in terms of protecting the historic environment of this part of Wales. Other new archaeological research outputs include information on the alignments of sites, the nature of the raw materials utilised for site construction, and the dressing and rock art decoration of standing stones, as well as other aspects of the landscape archaeology of the sites surveyed.
The project has also included a degree of mutual education between all members of the project, in terms of widespread application of digital photogrammetric recording techniques to prehistoric archaeological sites. Here we present the results of our experience as HeritageTogether in terms of doing digital photogrammetry as a form of digital public archaeology (DPA). These co-produced methodological findings were recorded by members of the team as the project progressed, and benefited both from discussion on site while doing fieldwork and with contributors afterwards. We believe that these methodological findings, which were the result of a team effort during the project, are as much part of the citizen science crowd-sourced project findings as the time spent in the field, and the new data produced. This may be especially true when working with a diverse group of digital archaeologists, on a range of sites in the field, and using Internet fora and emails. The scale of our dataset (in November 2014, 13,064 digital images had been co-produced; Griffiths et al. this issue) over some 78 sites has led to the HeritageTogether team co-producing our methodologies through practice.
We believe that digital public archaeology does not stop at the 'trowel's edge', and collaborative post-excavation analysis and research processes are as important as time in the field. What we want to emphasise in this contribution is that our methodologies, as much as our research outputs, can be fruitfully co-produced in public archaeology projects. We suggest that projects that emphasise only the field results of citizen scientists – whether the results of their excavation in more traditional archaeological projects or, in this case, the photographic data – are recognising only part of these citizen scientists' contributions.