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