'I want to be provoked': Public involvement in the development of the Northumberland Rock Art on Mobile Phones project

Aron Mazel*, Areti Galani, Deborah Maxwell, Kate Sharpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Northumberland has a long history of public engagement surrounding its ancient rock-art. Recent advances in digital technologies have enabled archaeologists to enrich this engagement through the provision of open access to substantial rock-art datasets online. Building on these achievements, the Rock Art on Mobile Phones (RAMP) project allows Northumberland's countryside visitors to access in situ interpretation at three rock-art areas on their mobile phones. During the RAMP co-experience workshops it emerged that the key issues the public expected to be addressed by the mobile interpretation included locating rock-art, the desire for ambiguity and speculation about rock-art, and connecting to the landscape. The paper discusses, on the one hand, how these themes were incorporated into RAMP's conceptual design and, on the other hand, how RAMP themes compare with the Audience Development Plan produced by the archaeologists who created an online database. We consider the implications of these findings for the development of open-access online resources and in situ public interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-611
Number of pages20
JournalWorld Archaeology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • digital heritage
  • mobile phones
  • Northumberland
  • open access
  • participatory design
  • rock-art

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