Archaeological prospecting influences whether excavation at a site will take place. It provides a global overview of the environment, including a systematic census of the archaeological clues. The goal is to check the state of the archaeological archives and the potential of the sites [Dabas 99]. The archaeological evaluation must fulfil the following requirements [Nigay 2002]: (1) establish the location of the deposit, (2) find the boundaries of the site, (3) define their nature (habitat, necropolis, etc.), (4) evaluate the density of the structures, and (5) date the site [Blouet 94]. Prospecting is done by a group of archaeologists and consists initially of a ground analysis based on a systematic division of the zone. If necessary, the archaeologists consult a specialist whose opinion will determine whether prospecting will continue. Currently, this consultation with the expert is inefficient, because it requires repeated trips to and from the site by the archaeologists. The prospecting requires long journeys between sites, where the topographic characteristics are often poorly known. The long distances of the journeys cause problems since they result in asynchronous interaction with distant specialists who possess specialised knowledge whose nature cannot be anticipated a priori .
As explained in [Nigay 2002], the characteristics of the archaeological prospecting activities (e.g., the co-operative process, the nature of shared information, the type of interaction), appear to be representative of the co- operative activities found in mobile situations.