Award for Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology

2015 award winner Ancient World Online, accepted by Charles E. Jones
2016 award winner Open Context, accepted by
Sarah Whitcher Kansa & Eric Kansa

Digital technologies are driving important changes in archaeology.  Despite the increasing acceptance of digital technology in daily life, however, determining how to assess digital scholarship has proved difficult: many universities remain unsure about how to evaluate digital work along side more traditional forms of print publication when faced with tenure and promotion decisions.  Recognizing the value of digital scholarship, and aiming to encourage its practice, the AIA offers this award to honor projects, groups, and individuals that deploy digital technology in innovative ways in the realms of excavation, research, teaching, publishing, or outreach.

Criteria for Selection 
Nominations of projects and individuals are welcome. Nominations may be made by anyone, including the project director or the principal members of the team responsible for the digital creation. Nominations of collaborative projects are encouraged. At least one member of the leadership team, or any individual nominee, must be a member in good standing of the AIA. Please submit the AIA membership number(s) with the nomination.

Due Date for Nomination
September 15, 2016

Materials to Be Submitted

Additional Information
Because the field of digital archaeology is still nascent and the application of digital technologies to archaeology is in constant flux, the committee reserves the right to modify this award as the field evolves.  Furthermore, the committee also reserves the right not give the award if no deserving project is nominated. 

Questions about the award should be directed to Deanna Baker, Membership and Societies Administrator, at or 617-353-9361.

2016 Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology Award: Open Context

Launched in 2006, Open Context ( publishes free, open-access archaeological data from excavations, surveys, and specialist analyses. The more than one million resources contributed by researchers worldwide all receive unique stable identifiers and long-term archiving through the California Digital Library. Open Context works directly with data contributors to review, edit and annotate data to shared standards and vocabularies prior to archiving. This “slow data” approach helps better contextualize data, thus improving its discovery, intelligibility, and research and instructional reuse (watch a short video about this approach here). In working toward quality and professionalism, we hope to encourage wider scholarly recognition and rewards for digital contributions and the intellectual and ethical challenges involved in digital data. Open Context is supported by one-time data publishing fees and by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and many others ( 


Past Winners of the Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology Award


Winner: Ancient World Online

Honorable Mentions: From Stone to Screen & Day of Archaeology

2014  Fasti Online