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DepositSlow Archaeology, Punk Archaeology, and the Archaeology of Care

This article considers the impact of both historical and digital transhuman practices in archaeology with an eye toward recent conversations concerning punk archaeology, slow archaeology, and an archaeology of care. Drawing on Ivan Illich, Jacques Ellul, and Gilles Delueze, the article suggests that current trends in digital practices risk both alienating archaeological labour and deterritorializing archaeological work.

DepositAdditive Archaeology: An Alternative Framework for Recontextualising Archaeological Entities

Additive manufacturing poses a number of challenges to conventional understandings of materiality, including the so-called archaeological record. In particular, concepts such as real, virtual, and authentic are becoming increasingly unstable, as archaeological artefacts and assemblages can be digitalised, reiterated, extended and distributed through time and space as 3D printable entities. This paper argues that additive manufacturing represents a ‘grand disciplinary challenge’ to archaeological practice by offering a radical new generative framework within which to recontextualise and reconsider the nature of archaeological entities specifically within the domain of digital archaeology.

DepositSlow Archaeology: Technology, Efficiency, and Archaeological Work

Slow archaeology situates contemporary, digital archaeological practice both in the historical tradition of the modern discipline of archaeology and within a discourse informed by calls for Taylorist efficiency. Rather than rejecting the use of digital tools, slow archaeology calls for archaeology to embrace a spirit of critical engagement with the rapidly changing technological landscape in the field. This contribution draws upon lessons from the popular “slow moment” and academic discussions of modernity and speed to consider the impact that the rapid adoption of digital tools has on archaeological practice and knowledge production. Slow archaeology pays particular attention to how digital tools fragment the process of archaeological documentation, potentially deskill fieldwork by relying on digital (Latourian) “blackbox” methods, and erode the sense of place so crucial to archaeological claims of provenience. The result of this critical attention to digital practices is neither a condemnation of new tools nor an unabashed celebration of their potential to transform the discipline, but a call to adopt new technologies and methods in a deliberate way that situates archaeological knowledge production in the realm of field practice.