Encyclopedia of Big Data

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurie A. Schintler, Connie L. McNeely


  • Stuart DunnEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_12-1


In one sense, archaeology deals with the biggest dataset of all: the entire material record of human history, from the earliest human origins c. 2.2 million years Before Present (BP) to the present day. However this dataset is, by its nature, incomplete, fragmentary, and dispersed. Archaeology therefore brings a very particular kind of challenge to the concept of big data. Rather than real-time analyses of the shifting digital landscape of data produced by the day to day transactions of millions of people and billions of devices, approaches to big data in archaeology refer to the sifting and reverse-engineering of masses of data derived from both primary and secondary investigation into the history of material culture.

Big Data and the Archaeological Research Cycle

Whether derived from excavation, post-excavation analysis, experimentation, or simulation, archaeologists have only tiny fragments of the “global” dataset that represents the material record, or even the record...


Archaeological Data Before Present Archaeological Information Tiny Fragment Mobile Device Usage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Digital HumanitiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK