The Apparatus of Digital Archaeology

Jeremy Huggett

Archaeology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QQ, UK. Email:

Cite this as: Huggett, J. 2017 The Apparatus of Digital Archaeology, Internet Archaeology 44.


Digital Archaeology is predicated upon an ever-changing set of apparatuses – technological, methodological, software, hardware, material, immaterial – which in their own ways and to varying degrees shape the nature of Digital Archaeology. Our attention, however, is perhaps inevitably more closely focused on research questions, choice of data, and the kinds of analyses and outputs. In the process we tend to overlook the effects the tools themselves have on the archaeology we do beyond the immediate consequences of the digital. This article introduces cognitive artefacts as a means of addressing the apparatus more directly within the context of the developing archaeological digital ecosystem. It argues that a critical appreciation of our computational cognitive artefacts is key to understanding their effects on both our own cognition and on the creation of archaeological knowledge. In the process, it defines a form of cognitive digital archaeology in terms of four distinct methods for extracting cognition from the digital apparatus layer by layer.

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