Excellent article. I have been photographing excavations since 1975, and started serious lab photography of finds about ten years ago. Your coverage of the advantages and disadvantages of digital photography in archaeology was comprehensive, but I think the issue of image permanence is the most important. Even if the photography/IT industries come up with "archival" digital media (in terms of materials stability), I feel that the discipline required to manage digital image data over time, as file formats and media technologies evolve, is going to be too great to promote systematic preservation. As a museum curator, I once managed a 70,000+ image photographic collection going back in time to the 1860s, including media ranging from ambrotypes to motion picture film, and most of the material had a history of informal storage and treatment. I can't imagine digital images surviving so successfully over time: they will take so much more work in terms of administration to preserve. For example, the wholesale adoption of digital imaging in newspaper publishing could lead to a large gap in the visual recording of our current "history", until better storage media and archiving protocols are developed and adopted - and they will have to be economical.

As for the field, using both systems does make sense. Capitalize on digital's capacity to confirm documentation at the moment, and use film for the record. And digital techniques are a godsend for lab analysis work, for sending artifact photos around by e-mail for discussion, for preparing lectures and presentations, etc.

Thank you for your thoughtful critique. It would be a good resource for people teaching methods courses.
cheers, mac