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Additive Archaeology: An Alternative Framework for Recontextualising Archaeological Entities

Paul Reilly1

1Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BF, UK

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

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

Publication History

Published Online:


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


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