Digital Technology Use at Çatalhöyük: Social experiences and the digital workflow in archaeology

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There is an increasing trend in archaeological methodology towards incorporating digital technologies, both hardware and software, into excavation and data processing. Such is the case at Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic period archaeological site located in South-central Turkey. The current Çatalhöyük Project has been under excavation by site director Ian Hodder and a group of international archaeologists since 1993. Throughout the project’s excavation history, more and more digital technologies have been integrated into the excavation and data processing activities on site. For the purposes of this paper, I specifically examine the digital technologies used by most excavation/research teams at the site: tablet PCs (specifically, Microsoft Surface tablet PCs), the computer application ArcGIS, the site’s Microsoft Access database, and 3D and digital photography techniques.
Digital technologies at Çatalhöyük are typically discussed in terms of their ability to foster project goals of reflexivity, the breaking down of traditional site hierarchies and divisions of knowledge in archaeology, and multivocality, the acknowledgement and facilitation of input from the many stakeholder groups of an archaeological excavation. This paper examines the social and academic impact of digital technology use at Çatalhöyük in an attempt to discover the extent to which digital technologies can intervene in academic and social processes on site. In particular, I examine the relationship between the reflexive and multivocal capabilities of the digital technologies used at Çatalhöyük, and the ways in which these capabilities have been successfully and unsuccessfully applied to pre-digital workflows at the site.


Type of resource text
Date created May 20, 2016


Author Tomaszczuk, Margaret
Primary advisor Hodder, Ian
Advisor Inoue, Miyako
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Department of Anthropology


Subject archaeology
Subject anthropology
Subject technology
Genre Thesis

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Tomaszczuk, Margaret. (2016). Digital Technology Use at Çatalhöyük: Social experiences and the digital workflow in archaeology. BA thesis, Stanford University, Department of Anthropology.


Undergraduate Research Papers, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University.

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