Heritage Data

Most of the archaeological data being recorded today exists as digital data, this includes data from the relatively simple digital photographs and the documenting of artefacts or site types in databases, to detailed 3D surveys, LiDAR Surveys and geophysical data. This digital archaeological record is often the primary record used by researchers and heritage professionals to better understand and manage our shared past. It is critical that archaeological data is managed, shared, and archived successfully to ensure that it is used effectively to enhance our archaeological knowledge and management of sites and artefacts. Archaeological excavation, conservation and dating can destroy or change the cultural resource, making the recorded digital data the primary record of these archaeological sites and artefacts.

The Discovery Programme participates in several initiatives and projects which explores the management, archiving, and reuse of archaeological data to ensure that its full potential is realised both now and into the future:

Saving European Archaeology from the Digital Dark Age (SEADDA): ESF COST action examining the practical challenges to providing stable, equitable and long term access to archaeology data.

ARIADNE: EU Programme to integrate and effectively serve a research community that studies the past to better understand the present with the tools and the methodology of the future, in the service of culture and society

Europeana: Europeana empowers the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation. We develop expertise, tools and policies to embrace digital change and encourage partnerships that foster innovation.

CARARE: A non-profit association that brings together agencies and organisations, research institutions, specialist digital archives and others with an interest in the archaeological and architectural heritage.