WG2 Workshop on the co-design of digitally-mediated experiences in archaeology

Workshop on the co-design of digitally-mediated experiences in archaeology University of York, UK, Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 April 2019

Organisers: Francesca Dolcetti (University of York), Dr Rachel Opitz (University of Glasgow), Dr Sara Perry (University of York)


User experience (UX) is a critical component of effectively mobilizing legacy datasets and collections in archaeology. In this sense, it is crucial to the success of the discipline as a scholarly, professional and pedagogical pursuit. However, our understandings of UX in archaeology, and our tools to facilitate UX design and evaluation, are arguably negligible. This workshop is focused on the interdisciplinary co-creation and user testing of digitally-mediated experiences geared at archaeological sites and collections. It aims to provide a forum for testing the benefits of design strategies and tools coming from the field of Participatory Design, and devising a digital publication work pipeline that involves end users and stakeholders from the outset. We seek to bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners working in the field of archaeological knowledge production, use and communication.

The activities proposed here will provide practical experiences on how to integrate archaeological data, storytelling and digital platforms to encourage professional and wider public engagement with the past. Moreover, the workshop aims to foster reflections on the importance of evaluation and iterative design, especially within the prototyping phase, to create experiences bespoke to diverse users’ needs and expectations.

Group activities

The workshop is organised as a two-day event with participants working in 4 groups, structured in four phases:

  • case study description: each group will work on a preselected case study and articulate its basic information and available sources (metadata/paradata);
  • experience design: each group will define both contents and intended audience, what kind of message they intend to convey and how to structure the experience;
  • prototyping: each group will build a 2D/3D paper mock-up to visualise the experience and make it tangible;
  • evaluation: each group will act as end users and cross-evaluate other groups’ experiences.



1 April

9.30-10.00 introductions

10.00-10.30 coffee break

10.30-11.00 introduction to the aim and structure of workshop activities

11.00-12.30 activity 1: case study description

12.30-13.30 lunch break

13.30-15.30 activity 2: experience design

15.30-16.00 coffee break

16.00-17.00 discussion


19.00 Social dinner

2 April

9.30-10.00 resume activities

10.00-10.30 coffee break

10.30-12.30 activity 3: prototyping

12.30-13.30 lunch break

13.30-16.00 activity 4: evaluation

16.00-16.30 coffee and final discussion


Call for participants

We are looking for 16 participants who:

  • are working on projects focused on the creation of digital resources related to archaeological collections and heritage sites;
  • have research interests in UX design, UX evaluation and participatory design fields.


If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please send a short expression of interest (no more than 150 words) to Francesca Dolcetti ([email protected]).


Deadline for expressions of interest is Sunday 16 December 2018.


COST-ARKWORK is participating at the COST workshop How to overcome the fragmentation in Cultural Heritage research and funding in the context of Horizon Europe?at the 2018 EUROMED conference in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Also Agnieszka Kaliszewska, a COST-ARKWORK ITC grantee from the Polish Academy of Sciences is presenting at the conference a paper Non-invasive Investigation and Documentation in the Bieliński Palace in Otwock Wielkidiscussing and reflecting archaeological practices and knowledge work at the Bieliński Palace site in Poland in her presentation.

25 trainees at COST-ARKWORK Training School in Sarajevo

The WG2 training school took place between 17-21st September, 2018 in Sarajevo. The training school was hosted and organized by Meliha Handzic at the International Burch University, and included trainers and guest speakers recruited both locally and across Europe. The programme took a broad approach to the issues at stake in managing archaeological datasets. Furthermore, one trainer coached the attendees specifically in how to prepare project proposals, building on projects that attendees had ongoing.


Invited scholars from the COST Action, as well as from Bosnia’s heritage and archaeological communities presented case studies reflecting on insights and experience gained in digital documentation and curation practices. These case studies were supplemented by hands-on workshops aimed at developing practical skills, including training in topic modelling, metadata analysis, PostGIS data storage and spatial analysis, and statistical analysis using R. As the week progressed, trainees were introduced to more theoretical perspectives on the social and political contexts in which archaeological knowledge is produced, with a keynote lecture by Prof. Isto Huvila and a discussion panel between all of the trainers. Field trips throughout the week offered students the opportunity to understand Sarajevo’s complex history and pivotal geopolitical role, and an opportunity to see many of the issues discussed in the classroom applied to present-day museological practice.

Call for Short Term Scientific Missions 2018-2020

ARKWORK STSM-Call 2018-2020

Call 2017

We are funding STSMs over the period 2018-2020, with an average funding/STSM of approximately €1500 (a maximum €2500 in total can be afforded to the grantee).
Please note that the financial support available via this scheme is a contribution towards the travel and subsistence cost of a STSM and may not necessarily cover all the costs. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals with a high benefit/cost ratio.

Criteria for Funding

  • The Applicant should be engaged in a research program as a post-graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or be employed in an institution in a ARKWORK member country; ARKWORK member countries can be found at: http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15201?parties
  • Applicants are responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution BEFORE the submission of their application;
  • The research subject of the STSM must be relevant for ARKWORK and the STSM must contribute to their aims of the network as described in its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU can be found at: http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15201?
  • The Applicant and its host must be from two different ARKWORK member countries;
  • STSM funding is a contribution towards travel and subsistence costs, and cannot be used as a salary;
  • Duration of a standard STSM: a minimum of 5 working days and a maximum of 90 days, for ECIs the maximum length is 180 days.
  • All STSMs need to be carried out within their entirety within a single grant period and within the Action’s lifetime;
  • Geographical and gender balance issues will be taken into consideration;
  • Applications from ECIs will be privileged.

Download the Call and the Guidelines here:



CFP: User Experience Design in Archaeology and Heritage

CAA International Conference in Kraków, Poland, 23-27 April, 2019

·      Are you designing digital resources for different archaeological users – specialists and wider audiences alike?
·      Do you deploy – or do you want to deploy – methods from the UX (user experience) and participatory design fields?
·      What workflows do you follow in iteratively developing your digital outputs? How are end users and stakeholders involved throughout these workflows?
·      What evaluation methodologies are you using to assess the successes and failures of your digital work with diverse audiences?Please join us to explore these questions (and more!) in our Roundtable Session #S36 on User Experience Design in Archaeology & Cultural Heritage at the CAA International Conference in Kraków, Poland, 23-27 April, 2019.We welcome all contributors who are working to integrate archaeological/heritage data and digital platforms into experiences that are truly tailored to the needs and expectations of their users.We seek to discuss your iterative methodologies, your users’ experiences, and your lessons-learned in order to refine user experience design models & toolkits for the archaeology and heritage sector.

The full abstract for our session is pasted below. This is a discussion-focused session and papers should be ‘flash’ in nature – i.e., no more than 10 minutes – and will be pre-circulated to allow us to delve into specifics during moderated discussion periods.

Deadline for submission of abstracts is Wednesday 10 October 2018.

To apply: Submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, excluding session title, author names, affiliations, and email addresses as well as 3 – 5 keywords. Please go to the CAA conference website (https://ocs.caaconference.org/index.php?conference=caa&schedConf=CAA2019&page=schedConf&op=cfp) to log-in and submit your paper abstract. You will need to log-in by going to User Home, clicking on CAA 2019 and then looking for the Submission link at the bottom of the page under the Conference Information header. You can select our session #S36 from the Track drop-down menu.

This roundtable is part of the EU COST ACTION network ARKWORK: https://www.arkwork.eu/For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact Francesca Dolcetti ([email protected]), me ([email protected]) or Rachel Opitz ([email protected]).

We hope you can join us!

User Experience Design in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CAA conference, Session 36)

Francesca Dolcetti (University of York)
Rachel Opitz (University of Glasgow)
Sara Perry (University of York)

Despite the widespread dissemination of digital tools and applications in both archaeology and heritage, relatively little is known about their real effectiveness and impact on diverse audiences (specialists and lay publics alike). A new iterative design workflow, involving end users and stakeholders from the outset, as well as an accompanying design evaluation methodology, may open new avenues for engagement while, at once, constructively influencing our research objectives and epistemologies.

In this Roundtable session, we seek to bring together a multidisciplinary group looking at different aspects of archaeological knowledge production to discuss theoretical and methodological issues in the field of participatory design and user experience, and to foster a critical understanding of how this knowledge is used and its social impact. Our aim is to convene researchers and practitioners in a dialogue that is focused on examples of interdisciplinary co-creation and user testing of Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Realities (AR, VR, and MR) and related digitally-mediated experiences for museums, archaeological and cultural heritage sites, and varied teaching and research contexts. We are particularly interested in practical experiences around how to integrate archaeological data, storytelling and digital platforms to create experiences truly tailored to the needs and expectations of users.

The format of this Roundtable is a series of flash position papers (10 minutes maximum) followed by periods of moderated discussion. The session concludes with an open floor discussion and a wrap-up report summarising the discussion and suggesting follow-up activities. Position papers will be submitted in advance to the session chairs and shared with all panelists. The session welcomes participants from different sectors including but not limited to digital humanities, archaeology, museology, design research and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

Training School 2018 – Announcement

ARKWORK action working group 2 is holding a 5-day training school on the topic of archaeological collections in a digital environment in Sarajevo from 17-21 September 2018. The school is hosted by International Burch University https://www.ibu.edu.ba/en/about/about-burch.html) located at Ilidza, suburb of Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina (http://www.sarajevo-tourism.com/).

During the training school led by international experts, participants from 17 different countries study processes of creating, organising, managing and exploring archaeological collections in a digital environment, and learn how to examine, evaluate and use different state-of-the art methods and tools to work with archaeological collections. They examine how archaeologists create digital objects and documents in different contexts, how they integrate these diverse and scattered knowledge sources, and how these insights can be used to inform the development of the state-of-the-art and practical management of the work with archaeological collections. They also get hands-on experience in using software tools for the analysis of digital archaeological collections. Finally, the participants examine how this archaeological knowledge work can be disseminated to different stakeholder groups.

Preliminary program


Monday17.09.2018Introduction; Trainees’ research interests and topics
Tuesday18.09.2018Documentation practices in digital environment; Museum visit
Wednesday19.09.2018Archaeological knowledge organisation in dig. env.; Museum visit
Thursday20.09.2018Archaeological knowledge production from digital data; Museum visit
Friday21.09.2018Final discussions; Conclusion


Saturday, 22.09.2018 – Optional excursion to Radimlja, Stolac https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1504

COST Action COST-ARKWORK CA15201 Training School 2018 - Call for Trainees

Theme: Studying archaeological collections in the digital environment
Date & Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 17-21 September 2018 (5 days)
Local Host: International Burch University, www.ibu.edu.ba
Venue: International Burch University, Francuske revolucije bb., 71210 Ilidza, Canton
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

About this Training School

The training school aims to get participants acquainted with the process of creating,
organising, managing and exploring archaeological collections in digital environment, and
learn how to examine, evaluate and use different state-of-the art methods and tools to work
with archaeological collections. During the training school, participants will examine how
archaeologists create digital objects and documents in different contexts, how they integrate
these diverse and scattered knowledge sources, and how these insights can be used to inform
the development of the state-of-the-art and practical management of the work with
archaeological collections. They will also get hands-on experience in using software tools for
the analysis of digital archaeological collections. Finally, the participants will examine how
this archaeological knowledge work can be disseminated to different stakeholder groups.

Download the Call here

Call for trainees

The call for contributions to a special JCAA issue on Digital Scholarship in archaeology is now open!

Special Issue on Digital Scholarship in archaeology

The call for contributions to a special JCAA issue on Digital Scholarship in archaeology is now open!

The JCAA is a peer-reviewed, open access, electronic journal, featuring papers in all the disciplines related to digital archaeology, including 3D modelling, spatial analysis and remote sensing, geophysics, other field recording techniques, databases and semantic web, statistics and data mining, simulation modelling, network analysis and digital reconstructions of the past.

This prospective JCAA special issue aims to facilitate discussion on the theoretical and philosophical aspects of digital scholarship in archaeology as well as the implications of the use of digital technologies and computational methods across the extent of the archaeological knowledge chain: from discovery, through observation, explanation, and dissemination. How are research, synthesis, practice, and teaching within archaeology mediated and transformed by digital approaches?

Deadlines: June 15th (abstracts), December 31st (full papers)

More info here.

ARKWORK represented at the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries conference, Helsinki

Our poster on display in the DHN2018 poster session, on 9th March in Tiedekulma, University of Helsinki

Last week saw the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries conference 2018 (DHN2018), hosted by the University of Helsinki, Finland. The event attracted delegates from the Nordic nations and beyond, including other parts of Europe and from further afield too. ARKWORK displayed our Network poster as part of the poster session held on Friday 9th March.

To see highlights and updates from the conference, search for the hashtag #DHN2018 on Twitter.

Workshop "Methods for Investigating Archaeological Practices and Knowledge Work" and MC Meeting in Seville

On the 15. and 16. January we held a workshop in Seville to discuss methods for investigating archaeological practices and knowledge work. We also had time for an MC meeting and working group meetings. The event was hosted by the Museo Arqueológico de Sevilla.