Bringing Technology to Archaeology, and Archaeology to Technology
Wildnote’s resident archaeology expert, Chris Webster, is passionate about helping professional archaeologists integrate new technology into their practices.
“I‘ve always been the kind of person to try to find more efficient ways to do whatever it is I’m doing. When the iPad first came out, I figured out ways to use it in the field and thought, ‘This is great! Why would anyone ever use paper again?’ Just because we study the past, doesn’t mean we have to live in it.”
Backed by 13 years of professional, global archaeology experience ranging from hands-on field work to project management, consulting, and educating, Chris brings a deep knowledge base to the development of Wildnote’s archaeology-specific features.
While trying unsuccessfully to find partners in the app development world for about 5 years, Chris found that either the products and/or the vision just weren’t ready. Then he met Wildnote. And when Chris interviewed Wildnote’s Kristen Hazard and Nancy Douglas for ArcheoTech podcast 58 in July of 2017, the seeds of the partnership were sown.
“Wildnote is already in play as a valuable tool and just needs to be fine-tuned and mentored into the field of contract archaeology. It is a database creation platform with a really good user interface and is clearly the engine that is ready to drive contract archaeology forward into the digital age.”
Chris’s drive to bring technology to archaeology and archaeology to technology moved him to co-found the Archaeology Podcast Network (APN) in 2014. It’s the only podcast network dedicated to education about archaeology. It now includes more than 18 podcasts, 25 expert hosts, and over 100,000 monthly subscribers. Chris has produced 73 episodes of the ArcheoTech podcast and has 6,000 archaeology professionals tuning in regularly.
“Our listeners tend to be archeological professionals who enjoy hearing about different new types of tech and new ways of using existing tech to improve efficiency and security in archaeological fieldwork.”
Chris’s extensive list of qualifications includes a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Master of Science in Archaeological Resource Management. He is a Registered Professional Archaeologist who has managed projects up to 32,000 acres as a field archaeologist. He is also the owner of Digital Technologies in Archaeological Consulting LLC (DIGTECH) and hosts and manages six podcasts on the Archaeology Podcast Network.
Chris will be on hand in San Diego March 9-11 at the Society for California Archaeology annual meeting to help roll out Wildnote’s initial package of digital archaeology tools including:
- California specific 523 DPR forms
- Shovel test form
- Archaeology-specific photo management
Future Wildnote plans include developing required forms for each state in the U.S., adding resources and features for specific regions, and integrating a global toolset into the Wildnote platform.
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