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Archaeology appeals to people from all walks of life, and there seems to be something inherently attractive about the shared cultural heritage of the human species. The main premise driving ArchaeoWiki is democratic accessibility to archaeological knowledge, the idea that everyone should be able to learn about our shared past in an open, equal and minimally-biased environment. What's more, everyone should be free to engage in discussions with the broader archaeological community and contribute to the discipline where they may. To this end, ArchaeoWiki provides a place where archaeological knowledge can be organized, disseminated and discussed by enthusiasts throughout the world.

In the most general sense, ArchaeoWiki has three goals:

  1. To provide linkages between archaeological source material and related subject matter to facilitate learning and research
  2. To give archaeological sources visibility, especially those that wallow in the obscurity of 'grey literature'
  3. To promote discussion and collaboration in a dynamic environment accessible to all interested parties

Archaeology is, of course, a vast topic to cover in terms of both geography and time-depth. This modest site is a hub for exploring the diverse interconnected world of archaeology, a jumping-off point for interest and research around the world. For the moment, the content of ArchaeoWiki focuses primarily on the characterization of material culture (artifacts & materials) and summaries of significant archaeological sites. As the number of collaborators grows, so too will the diversity of topics and contexts covered. The community is encouraged to add information relating to their own areas of interest from any corner of the world, provided the topics meet our guidelines of notability and reference reliable sources.

In order to be a useful learning and research tool rather than a sterile repository for information, ArchaeoWiki has been designed to permit dynamic extraction of information from its pages. Most notably, ArchaeoWiki uses the Semantic MediaWiki Extension that permits specialized tagging and querying of information to generate lists, tables, and other data structures based on criteria specified by the user. For example, it is easy to search for all sites in ArchaeoWiki that date to the Late Archaic Period in Southern Ontario, or all non-English monographs pertaining to slate tool manufacture in Greenland published between 1980 and 1985. With this integrated functionality, the collaborating community will be able to design a resource here that can be useful to established researchers, seasoned professionals, and budding students alike.

Finally, we recognize that resources with similar goals as ArchaeoWiki exist out in the aether. Rather than duplicate their efforts, we hope contributors will provide links to these resources so that everyone can benefit from the labours of archaeology enthusiasts throughout the globe.

All parties interested in collaboration are welcome to be part of the community provided content guidelines are followed. Abusive language, vandalism, and generally disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated.

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