Earlier this year I posted about my 2014 Manchester TAG talk about digital engagements with mortuary archaeology here. Subsequently, I decided to write this up for a special themed section of issue 40 of Internet Archaeology stemming from the TAG session and called ‘Ok Computer? Digital community archaeologies in practice’.

The Internet Archaeology special section also contains two papers by Seren Griffiths and colleagues on crowd-sourcing public archaeology, one on methodological approaches to photogrammetry, and one on the Heritage Together project. The section also contains a reflective piece by Chiara Bonacchi and Gabriel Moshenska.

When I was writing up my presentation, it became clear that I needed at least one other archaeologist’s perspectives, insights and the experiences, ideally someone heavily engaged with blogging and other forms of digital engagement including social media. To this end, I approached a member of the TAG audience, Sheffield postgraduate research student and social media guru Alison Atkin, to co-author the piece with me. I am extremely grateful to Alison for her input.

We had limited space and we weren’t able to pursue more than a fraction of the ideas and recommendations we have about current DPMA (digital public mortuary archaeology: Alison’s suggested acronym which I think is great). Still, as well as building on my earlier work, we brought new critical issues forward and (we hope) have contributed to the burgeoning debate on the use of digital medial in archaeological research. We hope our article stands as an important first statement about the specific issues and concerns with conducting digital public mortuary archaeology.

Our article is called ‘Virtually Dead: Digital Public Mortuary Archaeology‘.

Please note: Alison Atkin writes a superb blog: Deathsplanation.