The archaeological information system
To correctly carry out this research, it was crucial that everyone involved follow the same protocol for recording data – as the old saying goes, "one site, one method". From the original paper-based files to the current computerized network, the team has continually worked to improve and optimize the system for gathering and managing information. This is all the more important as the team has continued to grow, and in 2007 numbered some thirty collaborators spread out across several countries. Thus, even though each specialist follows his or her own analytical protocols, each piece of data – whether it be a wall, a piece of charcoal, a pottery shard, the remains of an animal, a statue or a grain of pollen – is managed by a single, homogenous tool and integrated into an archaeological information system that has been designed to change and evolve. From this standpoint, the archaeological campaign at Lattes constitutes a permanent laboratory that brings together experimental andfundamental research, and a place where interdisciplinary discussion and training can take place.
The many disciplines included in the management and analysis of archaeological data also meant that certain specific protocols and processes had to be added. The reasons for this were not only scientific, but also heritage-based (stabilization and preservation of certain objects, management of reserves in collaboration with the site's museum, etc.).
The continual increase in documentation, in particular with respect to the volume of objects that have been unearthed, meant that a systematic method for managing ceramic objects was necessary. This is why the team published the Dictionnaire des céramiques antiques en Méditerranée nord-occidentale.