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(Im)material Culture: Towards an Archaeology of Cybercrime

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JournalWorld Archaeology
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Jan 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2021
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2021
Issue number4
Volume52
Pages (from-to)607-618
Early online date22/02/21
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Cybercrime is ubiquitous. People now inhabit a digital environment comprising permanent risk, exponential threats, and multiple virtual/physical harms, forming a global community of malefactors and the criminally exploited. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, through an archaeological lens, to characterize the new materiality of cybercrime (including its artefacts and architecture alongside digital/virtual manifestations). And second, to explore the potential for new perspectives on cybercrime borne out of this archaeological approach. In short: what is the archaeology of cybercrime and can new understandings emerge from an archaeological perspective? In undertaking this research we also challenge the long-held presumption that non-physical traces cannot be studied archaeologically. It is our contention that they can.

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