Hyperlinks



But more than technical wizardry, new media offers stunning epistemological and theoretical potential for archaeologists and their engagement with the public and students. Since hyperlinks work with the same sort of roving associations made by the human mind, using hyperlinks actually facilitates learning and understanding (Keil-Slawik 1997, Fritsch 1998, Wydra 1999). They move with the user, instead of forcing him/her to follow a preordained pattern. They also transform the static into the dynamic. For instance, instead of seeing a drawing of a plan of a house with cooking pots, tools and rubbish strewn about, a student could be shown a whole environment, complete with sound and movement. If a student is interested in learning more about the pots, s/he could just click on them to get more information. Or, if s/he wants to know what the rubbish is, s/he could be presented with a variety of possible theories, some of which may be contradictory. The paths are not only multiple, they are interrelated. When looking at a text, the user - who could be an archaeologist, a student or simply a curious reader - does not have to read everything from start to finish. S/he can follow her/her own interests and even participate in the interpretation of a site, monument or object.