The main topic is digital archeology (or "computational archeology", as it is also known in Italy).
In fact GIS software, combined with DBMS, are extremely useful during the data management phase, exactly for their capacity to handle different kind of informations (as many as are the disciplines or sciences which help archeology in its task). The use of such instruments helps to optimize the research, especially in comparison with the traditional techniques, not only during data management, but also during the more delicate stage of data analysis (when most of the cognitive processes are involved).
Among other things, in this fourth step, it is more evident the importance of using open source software and tools to maintain a continuous control on every single process of a study that can lead to the elaboration of new theories. Of course, not all the the analysis are equally sensitive under this aspect: for the simplest researches (anastylosis, building techniques, basic geomorphology, etc...) it is not strictly mandatory to know the source code of the applications, also because in these cases the main examinations are done directly by humans. On the other hand, for more complex studies (landscape archeology and Cost Surface Analysis, statistics, advanced geomorphology, etc...), it is very important to have a complete access to the formulas and algorithms used by the software in order to keep an human control and do not completely delegate to the computer, among difficult quantitative calculations, also more delicate qualitative investigations (in which the human operator is still essential). In this way it is possible to correctly study all the different informations collected during the archaeological research, considering, at the same time, future integrations (GIS is an open system under a temporal point of view). The last goal of data analysis is to share results with the (scientific and non) community, which is the best way to improve the archaeological discipline itself, especially exploiting the potential of internet.
This lead us to the final step of an archaeological project (data sharing), which can follow different channels, like traditional publication, e-publication (e.g. webgis), exhibitions, etc... The most important thing, at least for scientific disclosure, is to grant a public access to all the informations used for the study (not only the filtered data, but also the raw data), in order to propose new hypothesis and (at the same time) give the all the necessary elements to verify them (no dogma, no authority principle).
To summarize the meaning of this contribution, considering archeology as a science (empiric approach) and a humanity (speculative approach), we can see how computational archeology helps to improve the scientific (empiric) approach, which is often underestimated, granting a more objective data acquisition and processing respects traditional techniques, especially during the critical phase of the archaeological excavation. In fact, unlike scientific experiments, the archaeological excavation is unrepeatable, being the most destructive approach of the discipline (and, at the same time, the most important).
All the screenshots were done with ArcheOS. Some of them are related with really old projects, slowly we will replace them with more updated images...