[open-archaeology] Archaeology: Hidden treasure

Federico Morando federico.morando at gmail.com
Tue Apr 13 10:05:46 UTC 2010

I'm especially interested in this part of the article:
> By embarking on a "massive photocopying campaign", Fulford assimilated 
> huge amounts of data, representing a massive increase in both the 
> number and type of sites now known.
The "photocopying" part is one of the most paradoxical aspects... Of 
course, even if this information were publicly available on the 
Internet, part of this literature would remain "gray", until some 
brilliant guy puts the relevant pieces together. That said, what 
interests me are in particular the legal obstacles to making this kind 
information publicly available (again, I know that there are many other 
kind of obstacles, but I would like to start from a sketch of the legal 

In particular, I would like to examine two kind of issues:
1) national laws about cultural heritage;
2) the contracts between commercial archaeologists and their typical 
clients, which may vary from country to country (they may be local 
governments and/or local branches of the ministry of culture, the 
Italian "archaeological superintendences" or the like).

Part (1) is messy, but relatively straightforward. I started doing it 
for Italy (and I will let you know the results of this research, as soon 
as I've something decent to share) and I'm confident to receive some 
help to do the same for France and, possibly, Greece.

About part (2), is there somebody on the list able to forward me some 
(more or less anonymized) copies of similar contracts?

Of course, I'm willing to respect any kind of privacy requirements and 
you can contact me by private email, but it would be very important for 
a better understanding of this scenario, if somebody were able and 
willing to forward me some copies of the contracts that commercial 
archaeologists typically sign (I just read Italian, French, English and 
a bit of Spanish. but feel free to send me stuff in other languages: 
I'll try to figure out a way to understand it.)

By the way, several of the potential "non-disclosure" (and/or 
intellectual property related) clauses that could be contained in these 
contracts are not specific of contracts with commercial archaeologists, 
but could appear in any authorization or other document granting the 
right to dig, prospect or do any kind of potentially archeology related 
activity (at least in countries such as Italy); hence, I'm absolutely 
interested in these contracts as well.

To conclude, please notice that I'm just a law&economics researcher with 
a (mainly personal) interest in archeology and cultural heritage 
legislation, a field in which I'm a complete dummy, and a growing (also 
professional) interest in public sector information. Hence, feel free to 
point me to existing resources or literature already answering the 
questions I'm trying to study from scratch, asking your help as far as 
contracts, authorizations and grants received by archaeologist are 

Best regards,


Stefano Costa wrote:
> http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100407/full/464826a.html
>> The explosion in commercial archaeology has brought a flood of
>> information. The problem now is figuring out how to find and use this
>> unpublished literature, reports Matt Ford.
> I think this article raises several points relevant for this working
> group, for example in connection with the recent launch of OALibrary.
> Again, this is about the UK. Anyone care to tell us something more about
> archaeological data in Germany, Spain, France, Greece or others?
> Thanks,
> Stefano
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Federico MORANDO
Managing Director & Research Fellow

NEXA Center for Internet & Society
Politecnico di Torino - DAUIN
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24

tel.: +39 011 564 5954
fax: +39 011 564 7216
mob: +39 339 7507974
mail: federico.morando at polito.it
web: http://nexa.polito.it

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