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Oxford Archaeology

Oxford Archaeology, one of Europe's largest independent archaeology practices, are commited to their ground-breaking Open Archaeology programme. This has several strands - to quote their website at

"...a philosophy, some software, a commitment to adopting and developing standards, making archaeological knowledge free to access, a passion. Open Archaeology is all of these."

One of the first practical outcomes of the Open Archaeology programme has been the adoption of Open Document Format as the default format for saving and distributing office documents. This is being supported by a mixed roll-out of OpenOffice and StarOffice (which is optimised for thin client use).

As noted by their CIO, Chris Puttick, there are pragmatic aspects to this commitment to open standards: "archaeology is all about preserving by record - the destructive nature of archaeological investigations means the record is often all that is left of important aspects of a country's heritage - to then preserve that record in a closed format is irresponsible at best. Besides, far more peopleĀ  here and now are able to afford to view ODF documents, ensuring our work is accessible to as many people as possible."

Freely downloadable ODF readers, such as ODFviewer being developed by the Open Document Fellowship, ensure that anyone can view an ODF file without changing to an ODF capable office suite.

About Oxford Archaeology

Oxford Archaeology is the one of the largest independent archaeological and heritage practices in Europe with over 250 specialist staff, with permanent offices in Oxford and Lancaster in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1973, OA has a 30-year tradition of quality, innovation and service.

Most archaeological work today is carried out in advance of development. Oxford Archaeology is one of the leading service-providers in this field, with thousands of clients who recognise us as experts in excavation and heritage management.

As a registered educational charity, OA also care about helping people to discover and enjoy their heritage. OA have welcomed many thousands of visitors to their sites on open days and tours, and volunteers have taken part in many of our major excavations.

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