Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …
Open Access

Open Archaeology

Editor-in-Chief: Harding, Anthony

Covered by:
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Additive Archaeology: An Alternative Framework for Recontextualising Archaeological Entities

Paul Reilly
  • Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BF, UK
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-10-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2015-0013


Additive manufacturing poses a number of challenges to conventional understandings of materiality, including the so-called archaeological record. In particular, concepts such as real, virtual, and authentic are becoming increasingly unstable, as archaeological artefacts and assemblages can be digitalised, reiterated, extended and distributed through time and space as 3D printable entities. This paper argues that additive manufacturing represents a ‘grand disciplinary challenge’ to archaeological practice by offering a radical new generative framework within which to recontextualise and reconsider the nature of archaeological entities specifically within the domain of digital archaeology.

Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; archaeological record; digital archaeology; extended assemblages; ontology


  • [1] Buchli, V., Memory, Melancholy and Materiality, in: Boric, D. (ed.) Excavating Memories: The Archaeology of Remembering and Forgetting, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2010, 204-210. Google Scholar

  • [2] Jones, A.M. and Alberti B., Archaeology After Interpretation, In: Alberti, B., Jones, A.M., Pollard J., (eds.), Archaeology after Interpretation: Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, 2013, 13-35. Google Scholar

  • [3] Lucas, G., Understanding the Archaeological Record, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012. Google Scholar

  • [4] De Landa, M. A New Philosophy of Society: assemblage theory and social complexity, Continuum, London, 2006. Google Scholar

  • [5] Jones, A.M. Archaeological Theory and Scientific Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002. Google Scholar

  • [6] Latour, B., Science in Action, Open University Press, Milton Keynes, 1987. Google Scholar

  • [7] Barad, K., Posthumanist Performativity: Towards an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter, Signs, 2003, 28 (3), 801-831. Google Scholar

  • [8] Latour, B. Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1999. Google Scholar

  • [9] Fowler, C. Dynamic Assemblages, or the Past is What Endures: Change and the Duration of Relations, in: Alberti, B., Jones, A.M. and Pollard, J. (eds.), Archaeology after Interpretation: Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, 2013, 235-256. Google Scholar

  • [10] Basiliere, P. and Shanler, M. Hype Cycle for 3D Printing, Gartner, Stamford, 2014. Google Scholar

  • [11] Buchli, V. The Prototype: presencing the immaterial, Journal of VisualCommunications, 2010, 9, 273-286. Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [12] Buchli, V. Presencing the Im-Material, in: Bille M., Hastrup F., Sorensen, T.F. (eds.), An Anthropology of Absence. Materializations of Transcendence and Loss, Springer, New York, 2010, 185-203. Google Scholar

  • [13] Jeffrey, S., Challenging heritage visualisation: beauty, aura and democratisation, Open Archaeology, 2015, DOI: 10.1515/ opar-2015-0008. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [14] Reilly, P. Palimpsests of Immaterial Assemblages Taken out of Context: Tracing Pompeians from the Void into the Digital, Norwegian Archaeological Review, 2015, DOI: 10.1080/00293652.2015.1086812. CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [15] Lipson, H. and Kurman, M. 2013. Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing. Indianapolis, Wiley. Google Scholar

  • [16] Oxman, N., Variable Property Rapid Prototyping, Virtual and Physical Prototyping, 2011, 6 (1), 3-31. Google Scholar

  • [17] Chen, D., Levin, D.I.W., Didyk, P., Sitthi-Amorn, P. and Matusik, W. Spec2Fab: A reducer-tuner model for translating specifications to 3D prints, ACM Transactions on Graphics, 2013, 32 (4) Article Number: 135. DOI: 10.1145/2461912.2461994. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [18] Hiller, J., Lipson, H. 2009. Design and analysis of digital materials for physical 3D voxel printing. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 15 (2), 137-149. Google Scholar

  • [19] Soe, S.P., Eyers, D.R., Jones, T. and Nayling, N., Additive manufacturing for archaeological reconstruction of a ship, Rapid Prototyping Journal, 2012, 18 (6), 443-450. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [20] Loewe, P., Klump, J. and Wickert, J. Scientific 3D Printing: A Work in Progress Report, 2013, http://www.slideshare.net/ loewe/scientific-3D-printing-gfz-geoinformatics-kollquium-april-2012 Google Scholar

  • [21] Krassenstein B. A 20-Year-Old 3D Printed Object Emerges From the Dust at MIT, 2015, http://3dprint.com/12179/old-3D prints-hagia-sophia/. Google Scholar

  • [22] Agrawal, S., Antunes, J.P., Theron, E., Truscott, M. and de Beer, D.J. Physical modelling of catchment area by rapid prototyping using GIS data, Rapid Prototyping Journal, 2009, 12 (2), 78-85. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [23] Reilly, P. Putting the Materials Back into Virtual Archaeology, in: Hookk, D. (ed.), Virtual Archaeology (Methods and Benefits), St. Petersburg: The State Hermitage Publishers, 2015, 12-21. Google Scholar

  • [24] Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., Camporesi, C., Galeazzi, F. and Kallmann, M. 3D Printing and Immersive Visualization for Improved Perception and Interaction with Ancient Artifacts, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 24 (3), forthcoming 2015. Google Scholar

  • [25] Clough, G.W., Best of Both Worlds. Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 2013. Google Scholar

  • [26] Earl, G., Basford, Ph., Bischoff, A., Bowman, A., Crowther, Ch., Dahl, J., Hodgson, M., Isaksen, L., Kotoula, E., Martinez, K., Pagi, H. and Piquette, K.E. Reflectance Transformation Imaging Systems for Ancient Documentary Artefacts, Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2011), 2011, 147-154. Google Scholar

  • [27] Hameeuw, H. and Willems, G. New Visualization Techniques for Cuneiform Texts and Sealings, Akkadica, 2011, 132 (2), 163-17. Google Scholar

  • [28] Marko, A. The Modern Ancient Tablet. A curatorial intervention, 2014, http://curatorialpracticum.wordpress. com/2014/05/04/the-modern-ancient-tablet/ Google Scholar

  • [29] Kaelin, B. Cornell Professors 3D Print Cuneiform Tablets, 2013, http://www.3dprinterworld.com/article/cornellprofessors- 3d-print-cuneiform-tablets. Google Scholar

  • [30] Sorensen, T.F. Original copies: seriality, similarity and the simulacrum in the Early Bronze Age, Danish Journal of Archaeology, 2012, 1 (1), 45-61. Google Scholar

  • [31] Gell, A. Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1998. Google Scholar

  • [32] Olivier, L. The Past of the Present. Archaeological Memory and Time, Archaeological Dialogues, 2004, 10, 204-213, DOI: 10.1017/S1380203804001254. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [33] Berry, D.M. Critical Theory and the Digital, Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2014. Google Scholar

  • [34] Stiegler, B. Anamnesis and Hypomnesis. N.d. http://arsindustrialis.org/anamnesis-and-hypomnesis Google Scholar

  • [35] Huggett, J. A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology, Open Archaeology, 2015, 1 (1), 86-95, DOI: 10.1515/ opar-2015-0003. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [36] AMF ASTM. F2915-13 Standard Specification for Additive Manufacturing File Format (AMF) Version 1.1, ASTM International. http://www.astm.org/Standards/ISOASTM52915.htm. Google Scholar

  • [37] Witmore, C.L. Prolegomena to Open Pasts: On Archaeological Memory Practices, Archaeologies, 2009, 5 (3), 511-544. Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [38] Kirch, D. Comparing tangible and virtual exploration of archaeological objects, in: Forte M. (ed.), Cyber-Archaeology, BAR S2177, Archaeopress, Oxford, 2010. Google Scholar

  • [39] Otten, W. and Falconer, E. 3D printed soil reveals the world beneath our feet, 2014, http://www.abertay.ac.uk/about/ news/newsarchive/2014/name,15497,en.html. Google Scholar

  • [40] Miles, J. and Cox, G. Animation showing Computed Tomography of coin hoard and visualisation of the hoard, 2013, http:// vimeo.com/45452797. Last accessed 24th August 2014. Google Scholar

  • [41] Miles, J. Computed Tomography scanning of Roman Coins. 2012, http://acrg.soton.ac.uk/blog/1168/. Google Scholar

  • [42] Applebaum, B. Conservation Treatment Methodology, Butterworth, Oxford, 2007. Google Scholar

  • [43] Huggett, J., Disciplinary issues: challenging the research and practice of computer applications in archaeology, in: Earl, G., Sly, T., Chrysanthi A., Murrieta-Flores P., Papadoupoulos, C., Romanowsha, I. and Wheatley D. (eds.), Archaeology in the Digital Era. Papers from the 40th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA’12). E-Proceedings, UK, 26-30 March 2012, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2013, 13-24. Google Scholar

  • [44] Huggett, J. Challenging Digital Archaeology, Open Archaeology, 2015, 1 (1), 79–85, DOI: 10.1515/opar-2015-0003. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2014-12-04

Accepted: 2015-09-23

Published Online: 2015-10-06

Citation Information: Open Archaeology, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6560, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2015-0013.

Export Citation

© 2015 Paul Reilly. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Louisa Minkin
Journal of Visual Art Practice, 2016, Volume 15, Number 2-3, Page 116

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in