Mobilizing the Past For a Digital Future, 2015

Boston, MA – February 27 – 28, 2015

Organizers: Erin Walcek Averett (Creighton University), Derek Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jody Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology), and Michael K. Toumazou (Davidson College)

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This two-day, NEH-sponsored workshop brings together pioneers in archaeology and computing to discuss the use, creation, and implementation of mobile tablet technology to advance digital archaeology, i.e., fully digital recording systems to create born-digital data in the field. Session themes are aimed at facilitating presentation, demonstration, and discussion on how archaeologists around the world use tablets or other digital tools in the field and lab and how best practices can be implemented across projects. The workshop highlights the advantages and future of mobile computing and its challenges and limitations. The workshop consists of formal paper sessions and opportunities for informal discussion of the issues and themes at moderated discussions, demonstrations, round tables, and speaker meals. The workshop’s goal is to synthesize current practices and establish a blueprint for creating best practices and moving forward with mobile tablets in archaeology.

Updated: Full video recording of the workshop on YouTube


Mukurtu CMS: Differential Access for the Ethical Stewardship of Cultural and Digital Heritage

Michael Ashley (Center for Digital Archaeology – UC Berkeley)

Archaeological research projects rarely occur in vacuums, but are situated in often-complex circles of interested parties – the stewards and stakeholders who may have rightful claims to the archaeological places and to the archaeological knowledge being withdrawn from them. As archaeologists, we are afforded a powerful position of deciding what is knowledge, what is data, who gets access, under what circumstances, if at all.

In this discussion, we will look at where we’re failing and succeeding to connect with stakeholder priorities for differential access to cultural content, and what this means for all of us in developing informed exchanges for digital archaeology. We’ll explore Mukurtu CMS, a free and open source platform designed specifically to address some of these challenges and how community based agile software development can help to humanize our discipline.

Mukurtu CMS has been built in collaboration with indigenous communities worldwide, and addresses the need for differential access to knowledge based on cultural protocols that are in practice within and around communities, and that define interactions with the public, researchers, governmental organizations, and archaeologists. Mukurtu CMS is both an ethos and real software, designed to promote ethical exchange from planning to publishing. We will discuss the roadmap and demonstrate the applications, released and forecast, including Mukurtu CMS, Mobile, Exhibit, and, and how they can be weaved into any archaeological endeavor.



The Mobilizing the Past Workshop has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Available Now is here and the queue is growing! Sign up now to get on the waiting list. Sites are spun up on a first come, first served basis, starting in April! We’re here to help with everything you need, with services, training and consulting for any size project. Get in touch today or learn more on

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