Citizen Science in Archaeology: Developing a Collaborative Web Service for Archaeological Finds in Finland

  • Anna Wessman
  • Suzie Thomas
  • Ville Rohiola
  • Mikko Koho
  • Esko Ikkala
  • Jouni Tuominen
  • Eero Hyvönen
  • Jutta Kuitunen
  • Helinä Parviainen
  • Marianna NiukkanenEmail author
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)


Metal detecting has become a vivid area of citizen science. In many countries where metal detecting is legal, the rapidly increasing number of finds submitted to authorities managing national archaeological databases has overwhelmed the capabilities of those maintaining the records. We propose an innovative approach for solving the problem by presenting a case study, the Finnish Archaeological Finds Recording Linked Open Database (SuALT) project. The idea is to engage the citizens more deeply in the process of maintaining the database in a mentally rewarding way by educating and helping citizens to make their find reports more accurately and as easily as possible, in place at the find location using a mobile device. SuALT provides a sustainable archaeological repository of Linked Data in Finland, interlinked with related international systems that shall continue to facilitate public engagements with cultural heritage, and research opportunities, long after the project has ended.


Metal detecting Citizen science Finland Linked data 



The authors would also like to thank CSC – IT Centre for Science, Finland, for computational resources.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Wessman
    • 1
  • Suzie Thomas
    • 1
  • Ville Rohiola
    • 2
  • Mikko Koho
    • 3
  • Esko Ikkala
    • 3
  • Jouni Tuominen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Eero Hyvönen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jutta Kuitunen
    • 2
  • Helinä Parviainen
    • 1
  • Marianna Niukkanen
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of CulturesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Library, Archives and Archaeological CollectionsFinnish Heritage AgencyHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Semantic Computing Research Group, Department of Computer ScienceAalto UniversityEspooFinland
  4. 4.HELDIG—Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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