Once discovered, an archaeological find starts some sort of new "life-cycle", throughout which it will cross several events, sometimes repeatedly. Each find brings with it a lot of information (concerning its nature and history). Also each event it will cross (restoration, study, exhibition etc) generates a lot of additional information. All the information gathered are useful, and often crucial, in order to deepen the scientific contribution received by the find, to make every time the best decision about its management, and, in the end, to give a proper sense to its discovery and overall to its expensive conservation.
Despite their fundamental role in such domain, the information are often considered as individual knowledge, not specifically managed, almost always not filed in digital archives. Usually they are not available to persons different from the ones implied in each single event. The problem of the use and sharing of the knowledge potentially brought by an archaeological find is further increased by the presence throughout the life-cycle of several professionals that usually work separately.
It is then highly interesting to examine a project promoted by an Italian regional Monuments Department, together with six other Italian and European Departments, in order to design and develop a powerful and easy to implement system to solve such problems. By adopting an action research approach, this paper will describe the birth and develop of this project, under a knowledge management perspective, to investigate organizational conditions and IT role in facilitating knowledge creation.
The research results demonstrate that some organizational solutions adopted in the project and some system features can promote knowledge creation and sharing in the cultural heritage context, also by reinforcing weak ties among operators.
- Archaeological finds,
- organizational knowledge,
- knowledge sharing,
- decision making,
- cultural heritage