The iPad is an ideal tool for field archaeology.

This blog sets out to bring together experiences of archaeologists using iPads.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


It’s raining hard here today, so this is a perfect time to write in detail about my rationale for using iPads in the field this year. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve wanted to digitally collect primary data from the moment I began volunteering in archaeology nearly 20 years ago. There are a number of reasons for this, including: 1) reducing the transcription (field notes), digital tracing (hand drawn maps), and database entry (catalogues and metric data) time which follows every field season, 2) minimizing errors that can result from transcription, and 3) reducing labour costs associated with digitally recreating handwritten data.
iPads charging after a hard day’s work. The lowest battery level was 89%.

There are a number of archaeologists using tablet computers in “paperless archaeology” projects around the world (please see for an excellent blog on the topic). Many of these projects use mobile database apps or custom web apps to submit data directly to a networked database. These are extremely useful applications that have great potential, especially in locations where internet access is constantly available.

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(My thanks to Mathew Betts for sending me the link to this interesting article)