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The first incarnation of the ArcSeer system was developed by Frank Lynam as part of his undergraduate dissertation work within the Trinity College Dublin Ancient History and Archaeology BA course which he completed in 2010. The idea of the system was to propose a new way of representing archaeological data. As a case study with which to work, this first version took the 2nd Millennium BCE Minoan peak sanctuary site of Petsofa which is located in East Crete as an example. Having conducted a historiographical review of all publications that had considered Petsofa, Lynam used this material to show that the new demands imposed by postprocessual theoretical models could no longer be adequately catered for by the traditional toolkit of archaeological representation. Media such as text, photographs, isometric reconstructions, plans and sections are all flawed in one way or other. Stephanie Moser in her wonderful contribution to Archaeological Theory Today (ed. Hodder, I.) proposed a set of categories with which to consider the pictorial reconstruction. They are singularity (the exclusion of other opinions), iconography (repetition of devices which eventually end up producing a system of icons with instantly attributable meaning), autonomy (the valid existence of one media’s interpretation at the exclusion of interpretations found using other media), longevity (some media’s interpretations can outlive their original context becoming eventually independent) and authenticity (certain types of media often assume a sense of authenticity that may or may not be warranted). Besides the archaeological reconstruction form, these categories can also be used to reflect the limitations or concerns inherent in all representational devices. Lynam found that the textual medium was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most democratic and well suited tool for use by the new interpretive archaeologies. It provided the capacity for representing doubt, parallel interpretation and suspicion – all the fundamental elements of the new paradigm. Despite the positives of the textual medium, Lynam felt that the new possibilities offered by digital media in terms of archiving, analysis and representation potentially provided a new and much sturdier platform with which to present interpretations in an attempt to constantly emphasise the subjectivity of all opinion. The new approach that emerged was the ArcSeer online system.

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