The Impact of Technology on Archaeological Research and Preservation in Harris County

Archaeology is a systematic search for knowledge about the past by studying the material correlations of the past.

Fieldwork data

are used to construct interpretations of past social dynamics, both in the field and afterwards. The process consists of many steps of repeated, standardized operations that are characterized by a certain degree of consistency. Research and recording in archeology involves unearthing, observing, and interpreting material remains (Hummler 201).

Like other academic and research disciplines, archaeology continues to rely almost entirely on publications as a way of disseminating knowledge and achieving professional advances. Image analysis provides elements for creating a general framework for sites, obtaining a better characterization of the landscape and materials, and supporting new archaeological research in areas of interest. Sharing evidence remotely and in real time with colleagues, both in the field collection process and in the subsequent study, may represent a key innovative feature for field archaeology (in a way that can be compared in some way to contemporary “living” surgeries in the medical sciences). Repositories such as TDar (The Digital Archaeological Record), Digital Antiquity and Archaeology Data Service (ADS) aim to store, conserve and preserve digital data sets and also expand their access (but with high maintenance costs). It can also be imagined that, ideally, in the future, there will be more and more opportunities to process ever larger and more complex amounts of digital data, making big data analysis a fundamental element of archaeology. One of the main tasks when rethinking archaeological fieldwork is to design a cyberinfrastructure capable of managing the entire data collection process on the ground and sharing and extracting data for research (Snow et al.

Digital technologies are essential for the creation of digitally sourced data that, through web-based storage and publication methods, can overcome the obstacles that currently hinder the dissemination of the main data sets from archaeological fieldwork. Making complete data sets from archaeological excavations, both raw and refined, available on a single searchable platform will significantly accelerate academic work. Cross-referencing archaeometric, bioarchaeological, and geological analyses in the field would go a long way in effectively archiving archaeological findings. The creation of a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for data exchange and online collaboration at various levels, from streamlining work in the field to developing solutions to complex research problems, should become a standard product of digital archaeological initiatives. Advances in technology have had an immense impact on archaeological research and preservation efforts in Harris County. Through image analysis, researchers can create general frameworks for sites while obtaining better characterizations of landscapes and materials.

This allows them to support new archaeological research in areas of interest. Additionally, digital technologies have enabled archaeologists to share evidence remotely with colleagues both during field collection processes as well as during subsequent studies. Repositories such as TDar (The Digital Archaeological Record), Digital Antiquity and Archaeology Data Service (ADS) have been created to store digital data sets while expanding their access. In addition, big data analysis has become an integral part of archaeology as it allows researchers to process larger amounts of digital data. Furthermore, creating a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for data exchange has enabled archaeologists to streamline work in the field while developing solutions to complex research problems. Overall, advances in technology have allowed archaeologists to make complete data sets from excavations available on searchable platforms while cross-referencing archaeometric, bioarchaeological, and geological analyses.

This has significantly accelerated academic work while effectively archiving archaeological findings.