The Website

The website is built as an ‘open access/knowledge’ source that offers information to the interested public without any previous knowledge and to archaeologists alike (www.praehist.uni-halle.de/goseck.html). It consists of differentiated levels of information ranging from short introductory texts written in a popular scientific manner (the texts are available only in German) added to by photos and videos, to detailed descriptions and illustrations of the archaeological data. Though all levels are accessible - which guarantees a general transparency - only the ‘deeper’ levels of the website keep some sort of ‘scientific standard’ of archaeological publications, and provide the archaeologist-user with all available information of the excavated artefacts and their contexts, i.e. plans, photos, videos descriptions of finds and findings.



But due to hypermedia all information on the website is interconnected and can be approached in a multi-linear way. Rather than following the authors' linear argumentation in traditional forms of publication such as books and journal articles, the reader/user of the Goseck website can browse through the information in a non-linear way, and approach the data the way they want to (Biehl 2002, 2005). Another advantage is that all data can be made available, which is normally not possible in traditional publications due to financial reasons. All users could access all the data of the excavation at any time, but in practice it’s the virtual reality objects that enjoy great popularity (see also Rieche/Schneider 2002, Samida 2004). But such modern presentation forms of artefacts and sites are not only interesting for the public but also for the archaeologists, who can view and analyse the artefacts more ‘closely’ (see also Copeland 2004).

This is only one example of how multimedia tools can change the practice of archaeology, and there are many more. It is important to note the fact that the layperson and the professional archaeologist can both access the data from the Goseck excavation - creating a new form of ‘knowledge transfer’ not only within the community of archaeologists, but also from the sciences to the public and vice versa (see also Holtorf 2007).