Friday, October 1, 2010

iPads in Pompeii

A recent story on Apple Computer’s website reports on the use of iPads and related software in the University of Cincinnati's excavations of Pompeii. Not only do the hand-held devices help with recording data and artifacts into a master database, but also help with GPS/GIS locations, drawings, photographs and other aspects of recording an active excavation. The researchers cite the iPad's ease of use and ability to take the harsh conditions of the field.

iPads and other handheld devices have also found their way into excavations and analytical studies. Most excavations now use GPS devices regularly. Many types of portable instrumentation also now use PDAs as an integrated part of the hand held device, such as in the Bruker Tracer III-V PXRF. What other changes to archaeological science come from hand-held technologies? Would 4 iPads in Pompeii be ivPads?

Thanks to the OzArch listserv for this recent news story and lots of comments on the merits and downsides of technology in archaeological excavations.