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50
C
HANGING
T
ECHNOLOGIES
C
HANGING
M
ETHODS
:
A
N
I
NTERVIEW
WITH
P
AOLA
M
OSCATI
P
AOLA
M
OSCATI
HAS
WORKED
WITH
COMPUTER
TECHNIQUES
IN
ARCHAEOLOGY
SINCE
SHE
FINISHED
UNIVERSITY
AND
IS
THE
EDITOR
OF
A
RCHEOLOGIA
E
C
ALCOLATORI
.
I
NTERVIEW
BY
D
AISY
A
BBOTT
.
A
s the use of computer applications
became more widespread, scholars
have not only begun to take advantage of
the mathematical techniques themselves in
the analysis of results, but have learned to
use information technologies as an actual
method of study in archaeology and cul-
tural heritage. My study of Etruscan mirrors
and funeral urns used statistical methods
applied to these specific objects to classi-
fy them from a typological point of view.
Studying the objects in terms of iconogra-
phy also provided very interesting results.
Samples were classified using multidimen-
sional techniques such as cluster analysis
and factor analysis. The application of sta-
tistics allows conclusions to be drawn con-
necting the materials used (bronze in the
case of the mirrors and stone for the funer-
al urns) and the morphology of the objects.
It was the growing use of new technologies
that led me to write a book on the subject,
Archeologia e Calcolatori, which was pub-
lished in 1987 and became a very impor-
tant step in my work in this field of study.
ARCHEOLOGIA E CALCOLATORI
A
s the use of computers in archaeol-
ogy reached a high level at the end
of the eighties, it became clear to me that
there was a problem in developing this type
of study. In Italy and across Europe there
were many researchers who used computer
applications to assist archaeological analy-
sis, but there was a distinct lack of a unified
editorial reference work. It seemed that the
quickly developing technologies and their
effects on research methods were often not
fully known by the people using them. It
was decided that, to solve this problem,
it would be useful to create a new jour-
nal, as a product of the National Research
Council ­ Istituto di Studi sulle Civiltą
Italiche e del Mediterraneo Antico (http://soi.
cnr.it/iscima/) and the University of Siena
­ Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle
Arti (http://www.archeo.unisi.it/), which
I still edit today. The purpose of the jour-
nal Archeologia e Calcolatori (http://soi.
cnr.it/archcalc/) was to make activities in
this field more widely known and also to
present articles from other countries to an
Italian audience and vice versa.
I
ssue 1 was published in 1990, creating
the long-needed editorial point of ref-
erence for this work. Articles are published
in many languages, providing a multilingual
solution. Each issue ended with a bibliog-
raphy to widen awareness of the scholar-
ly material available, but this was stopped
after the tenth issue, as the amount of avail-
able texts was increasingly growing and
easier to find. Instead, we replaced the bib-
liographic section with a succinct sum-
mary of subject areas: three or four short,
high-level articles each based on one spe-
cific topic (for example, GIS: Geographic
Information Systems),57 which include
citations and important references for that
topic. The journal is a unique publication as
it includes the archaeological results as well
as the project descriptions and the tech-
niques applied. This is a main feature of
the journal, as technology does affect the
research methods to achieve results, but is
not the main focus itself.
W
e publish special issues, for example,
conference proceedings (for more
information, see http://soi.cnr.it/archcalc/
news.htm) or monographic issues dedicat-
ed to specific theoretical topics. Theoretical
approaches are particularly important to
the use of computers in archaeology and
every five years a special issue is devoted to
one topic. The fifteenth issue of Archeologia
e Calcolatori, to be published later this year,
will address `New frontiers in archaeologi-
cal research: Languages, Communication,
Information Technology'. This topic binds
together scientists devoted to the appli-
cation of diverse computer methods to
archaeological data from the phases of data
acquisition and representation to their
processing, interpretation and diffusion.
W
e have kept a database of applica-
tions and projects discovered over
the years, which, after 20 years, we intend to
publish as a retrospective on the field. The
data are categorised by both archaeological
subject and the computing techniques used,
therefore data can be cross-referenced and
correspondences between subject and appro-
priate technologies may be found.
Paola Moscati
©
Daisy
Abbott,

HA
TII,

Uni
v
er
sity
of
Glasgo
w
,

2004

57 DigiCULT's third Technology Watch Report will devote a section to GIS in the heritage sector.