ArcheoFOSS 2022
Spring Archaeology: a gathering project for emerging researchers

Andrea Bellotti
Associazione Ricreativa Culturale “Let’s Dig Again”, Bologna, Italy

Luca Luppino
Associazione Ricreativa Culturale “Let’s Dig Again”, Bologna, Italy

Maria Messineo
Freelance Archaeologist

Mickey Scarcella
Freelance Archaeologist

Panel: Electronic Publishing and Open Science in Archaeology

Spring Archaeology stemmed from the pressing need to offer young researchers and professionals an occasion to present their work to a heterogeneous audience. Born as a conference idea, Spring Archaeology ended up being a full-fledged project, capable of building a community around the pivotal vision of a public and unrestricted access to scientific data acquired through archaeological research, from material culture to the most advanced techniques of data processing.

Contributing authors have been able to present case studies from prehistory to the medieval period, mainly centred in the Mediterranean context, after an anonymous selection process conducted by a scientific committee formed by emerging researchers, under the aegis of several professors from the University of Siena.

Originally planned as a blended event, the symposium was entirely transferred online due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The always-evolving situation provided the occasion to experiment with three days of live streaming via YouTube, for a total of 18 hours. To do so, Spring Archaeology tightened the bond with Let’s Dig Again, a cultural association and the first archaeological web radio in Italy, already in charge of communicating the meeting. In the end, the conference tallied up to 4763 total views and 2607 unique spectators, demonstrating the public’s interest in the delivered topics and the potentiality of the online transmission of the event, which granted remote participation for both audience and lecturers.

Given the nature of Spring Archaeology, it seemed only natural to opt for an Open Access format to publish the conference proceedings, in our case provided by the publisher Archaeopress, through the Access Archaeology series. The main objectives were to have a short time between the symposium and the distribution of the related articles, and to grant everyone access to those materials, being a curious or a specialised public. In addition, the youngest researchers, with only a BA Degree, were given the space to create a short explanatory video of their posters, which were to be presented and explained in person.

The lecturers’ and public’s enthusiasm for the initiative was the main reason why the organising committee decided to go on with Spring Archaeology, creating a short series of conference updates, with the collaboration of some of the authors from the previous experience. The gatherings, held online and streamed via YouTube with the help of Let’s Dig Again, prompted the proposal of a new edition of Spring Archaeology, which is hopefully going to be held by the end of 2022.


The text is release under CC BY 4.0 International license, copyright by Gianluca Martinez