New Book from The Digital Press: Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future

The best days are book release days. I am super excited to announce the publication of Erin Walcek Averett, Jody Michael Gordon, and Derek B. Counts, Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: The Potential of Digital Archaeology. Grand Forks, ND: The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. 

This is the culmination of months of hard work by the editors, contributors, and various other people committed to making Mobilizing the Past and The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota successful. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to them and my excitement for this publication.

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Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The study of the ancient world requires the most modern tools. In the 21st century, archaeology is no longer the domain of picks, pith helmets, and sharpened trowels, but a high tech enterprise. Archaeologists now take high-powered laptop computers, tablets, drones, and sophisticated software and workflows in the field with them. In Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: The Potential of Digital Archaeology, Erin Walcek Averett (Creighton University), Jody Michael Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology), and Derek B. Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) brings together 17 papers authored by the most creative thinkers on technology and archaeological field practice. Introduced by a sweeping survey of the intellectual and practical issues surrounding digital practices in archaeology and anchored by two critical reflections, the volume is more than merely a survey of new technology, but stands as an enduring monument for a discipline undergoing rapid and dramatic changes. 

Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future emerged from a workshop (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities) held in 2015 at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston that convened many of the leading practitioners of digital archaeology in the U.S. for a weekend of dialogue. The papers and conversations from this workshop formed the basis for the case studies presented in this volume and demonstrate the tremendous diversity in the digital tools used in archaeological field practice. From drones in the Andes to iPads at Pompeii, digital workflows in the American Southwest, and examples of bespoke, DIY, and commercial software, technology now provides solutions and crafts novel challenges for field archaeologists. 

Our method of releasing this book is also the most sophisticated yet attempted by my little press. The book itself appears in three places:

1. The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota’s website.
2. Digital Commons at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
3. Amazon (in paper).

Each site provides access to supplemental material hosted by Mukurtu.net and this multi-site approach makes it possible to download or link to a specific article or the entire book. We hope this multi-site approach offers the widest possible platform for the book’s distribution.

It is also exciting that this is Open Access Week (#OpenAccessWeek) which I hope will give our work at this book and The Digital Press a little more national visibility. On campus, there are open access events and the like, and while I’m not involved in any of them, I hope this book is part of the conversation.

So, please check out the book! Tweet out this announcement or the pages linked above and use the hashtags: #MobilizingthePast #DigitalArchaeology #Archaeology or #OpenAccessWeek. Please help us spread the word!

Feel free to grab these cover photos to enliven tweets or whatever:

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Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my article on “Slow Archaeology” in the book… check it out!!

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