Archaeological work, whether conducted purely for research purposes or in advance of construction, is carried out primarily for public benefit, therefore the presentation of the results to the public is a major obligation for all archaeologists. Presentation may take a variety of forms including publications, displays, booklets, videos, lectures, or other media presentations.
The most common type of archaeological publication is the project report, which may be produced ‘in-house’ or published externally depending on the nature of the project. Usually aimed at a professional audience, it consists of the scientific presentation of survey work, the results of excavations and in particular the results of post-excavation analysis. In many instances this kind of publication is required by funding or monitoring bodies. Archaeologists often publicize the results of their work at conferences and in professional as well as popular journals, or through exhibitions.
Recent years have brought about a significant increase in the use of multimedia technologies to present archaeological knowledge. It is now possible to present a wide range of the data generated by archaeological fieldwork including text, quantitative results, drawings, photos, videos, etc. that are not well suited to a traditional printed publication. The world wide web facilitates the presentation of unlimited quantities of data and images that could not be published in a printed form. New IT technologies also enable imaginative virtual reconstructions or 3D animations. They are used to not only communicate results of archaeologists’ work but to also make their interpretations available to the public.