About DAB23

Advancing open research into the next decade

Following the success of the inaugural 2019 colloquium, the second iteration of ‘Digital Archaeology Bern’ (DAB) took place at the University of Bern on the 1st to 3rd February, 2023.

Ten years ago, a groundbreaking special issue of World Archaeology on ‘Open Archaeology’ introduced the concept to the wider discipline. And five years ago, a paper in the SAA Archaeological Record once again brought together many authors to endorse the concept of ‘Open Science in Archaeology’. In 2022, we can perhaps at last claim that open archaeology has come of age – if not as an established norm, then at least as a widely-accepted aspiration! So it seems timely to again take stock of which developments have proved fruitful over the past decade, and to ask which directions the field should take in the next. As guiding principles such as the FAIR and CARE increasingly establish themselves in the wider digital humanities in recent years, how should digital archaeology position itself?

We hope the colloquium will provoke debate on the status and role of ‘open’ archaeological research with the spectrum of archaeological practice. We would also like to consider how, as digital archaeologists, we should position ourselves under the emerging umbrella of the digital humanities, and what we can learn from the paths taken there. The colloquium will be a forum for both junior and senior researchers from different fields to discuss and share their work and experiences.

Session format

The colloquium consisted of three main sessions dealing with the following topics:

  • The impact and significance of open science in archaeology to date
  • The interaction between archaeology, open science and the digital humanities
  • Practical applications and exemplars for open science in archaeological research in the next decade

All three sessions featured presentations from invited keynote speakers and from an open call for papers.

Workshops & excursion

On the third day of the colloquium, participants had the opportunity to join one of two workshops or an archaeological excursion to the shores of Lake Biel and Lake Neuchâtel.


The publication of the colloquium’s contributions is planned. Further details to be announced.

Organising Committee

Maria Elena Castiello
Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern

Martin Hinz
Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern

Julian Laabs
Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel

Cynthia Marti
Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern

Joe Roe
Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern