University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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The ideal bedfellows: How the Social Web and Archaeology became friends
Nicole Beale

Last modified: 2011-12-19


The ideal bedfellows: How the Social Web and Archaeology became friends


This paper summarises an analysis of the possibilities for Archaeology that the increasing ubiquity of the social web in society presents. In particular, the extent to which the use of social media tools to proliferate information quickly and informally could impact on the work in the sector.  

The research analyses how Archaeology’s approaches to interpretation are developing alongside social web movements, and considers the possibilities offered for access to archaeological data within the sector, as well as the public. 

The work includes an analysis of the issues of current approaches to improving access to data and interpretation being used by archaeologists, incorporating key approaches from community archaeology, public archaeology and archaeology as a practice.

A exploration as to why Archaeology’s take-up of the social web has been varied is supported by the idea of a need for a review of the possibilities for new technologies.  The paper will suggest ways to address the extent to which the social web can benefit Archaeology and the public that it serves.

Current thinking around the impact of the web on society is used throughout this research, in order to support conclusions. This paper will conclude by putting forward various methodological strategies for adoption of social web technologies within Archaeology, based on the findings from the analysis. 


social web, web, community archaeology, public archaeology