Sharing the CRM Wealth: Creating a Searchable Archaeological Database with GIS

Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Conference 2019
Andrew Riddle and Katherine L. Hull

Academic excavations are no longer the driving force behind archaeological research in North America. In the current economy, private cultural resource management firms (and also those based within academic institutions) complete most archaeological field activities. However, the results of these surveys and excavations are often confined to the grey literature, though not from any lack of desire to disseminate knowledge. Interestingly, depending on the legislative context of the work, there can be significant barriers to sharing information with the public in a systematic and cost-effective manner. This paper explores a proposed GIS-based data-sharing initiative for professional archaeologists in the Province of Ontario, Canada, consisting of an open, searchable index of archaeological sites that contains basic locational, historical, and archaeological data. Using our CRM-derived dataset, we demonstrate the feasibility and research potential of this data-sharing platform that addresses both Provincial and professional concerns.