We are in a new era, what Hal Varian calls a period of “combinatorial innovation” (Varian 2009). As he points out, in the nineteenth century it was interchangeable parts. In the first part of the twentieth century it was electronics, in the second half integrated circuits. Now it’s open source software, crowdsourcing, and limitless APIs (application programming interfaces).
The urgent need for the development of cyberinfrastructure in archaeology in this new era is all but self-evident (Kintigh 2006; Snow, Gahegan, et al. 2006; Snow, Hirth, et al. 2006). We have three major problems before us. The first is to facilitate the development of new tools for data gathering and analysis. The second is to find ways to preserve data over the long run. The third is to reform undergraduate and graduate education and training such that our curricula incorporate solutions to the first two problems.