Seventeen years into the “digital millennium”—which supposedly began in 2000—it would be understandable if a certain cynicism arose for everything new, digital, high tech or cyber. Particularly in archaeology—what have digital tools really done for us that earlier, traditional tools did not? Is a digital photograph that much better than a film photograph? Does a laser distance measurer produce better archaeology than established survey tools? What does a computer 3D model do that a hand-drawn or built model cannot? Do we really understand the ancient world more clearly thanks to computers?
As a digital archaeologist, I believe I can affirm the value of digital technology for understanding ancient material culture (the physical evidence left behind by a culture).