Transforming data re-use in archaeology (TETRARCHs)
Running from October 2022 to September 2025, Transforming Data Reuse in Archaeology (TETRARCHs) is a 3-year, CHANSE-funded international collaboration between MOLA, the University of York, Research Centre for the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Lund University, University of Antwerp, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities, University of Ghent, and Vilnius University.
The project’s Lead and Investigators include:
- Sara Perry, Project Leader (MOLA)
- Holly Wright, Co-I (University of York)
- Rimvydas Laužikas, PI (Vilnius University)
- Edisa Lozić, PI (Znanstvenoraziskovalni center Slovenske akademije znanosti in umetnosti)
- Nicoló Dell'Unto PI (Lund University)
- Helene Verreyke, PI (University of Antwerp)
- Christophe Verbruggen (Ghent University)
Today many organisations collect and manage archaeological data to document and preserve our cultural landscapes, sites, and objects. Unfortunately, our current methods can make it difficult to re-use the data to tell stories and share findings in ways that are democratic, engaging and just. In fact, although a lot of work has been done to make archaeology Findable, Accessible and Interoperable (according to the FAIR Principles), little is understood about whether our data is Reusable – and who is using it.
The TETRARCHs project will experiment with approaches to collecting archaeological data and using that data for storytelling in ways that are meaningful for diverse audiences. Our experiments will help both those who preserve our heritage and the huge range of citizens across Europe who value it.
To do so, we will create new workflows for collecting and managing archaeology and heritage data. Here we’ll examine how the archaeological process in the field, the lab and the archive can be changed to support storytelling with the data. We’ll develop these workflows by partnering with an interdisciplinary team of archaeological specialists, data scientists and museum practitioners alongside three key audiences – domain experts, creative practitioners, and memory institutions.
Our project includes archaeology data collection at three different scales – from whole landscapes, to single sites, to individual objects. We’ll explore these using four increasingly common technologies for data capture: airborne LiDAR, 3D scanning, digital field drawing and photography.
Once the workflows are complete, we’ll test them by supporting people who work in creative fields from across Europe to develop new stories and other imaginative works using archaeology data.
In the end, through TETRARCHs, we will produce:
- new workflows for field, laboratory, and archival practice in archaeology
- the world’s first controlled vocabulary for cultural heritage storytelling
- the first assessments of how effectively data is reused, following ISO Standard 25022: Measurement of Quality in Use
- the first best practice recommendations for trusted digital repositories to optimise their archaeological data for re-use in storytelling
You can learn more about our work on the dedicated TETRARCH website.
TETRARCHs is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK (AH/X006980/1), alongside multiple European funding bodies under CHANSE ERA-NET Co-fund programme, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement no 101004509.