top of page



Geographical Information Systems In Archaeology (Cambridge Manuals In Archaeology)

Abstract:The archaeological analysis of medieval and modern pottery has benefited from the consolidation of archaeometry in the domain of Medieval Archaeology in the past few decades. As part of an ongoing research project devoted to the characterization of pottery production, distribution processes and technological transfer, we deal with a considerable amount of data that are very diverse in origin and nature and must be exploited within an integrated information system in order to provide information for historical knowledge. The Greyware system has been designed to fulfil this goal and provides the main categories for pottery analysis within a shareable and reusable scenario. Its development and application prove that a little semantics goes a long way and that the creation of domain ontologies for archaeological research is an iterative process under development, as long as several projects sharing data, resources and time can develop a collaborative framework to maximize the assets of individual expertise and collaborative work. In this paper, we discuss the requirements of the system, the challenge of developing strategies for normalized data management and their potential for exploiting historical vestiges from an integrated perspective.Keywords: ontology; data modelling; database; unit of topography; actor; pottery; archaeology; history

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology (Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology)

The development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a computer-based technology to handle spatial information has been one of the most fundamental research tools to have benefited archaeology in the late 20th and early 21st century. Since its adoption in archaeology in the 1990s, there has been a gradual increase in the use of GIS in the discipline across the world, including in southern Africa. GIS technology has enabled a variety of spatial questions to be investigated thanks to its capability to handle multiple forms of data and their inherent spatial relationships. In southern Africa, archaeologists have used these systems (a) to present and visualize prehistoric settlement locations and patterns across space and time; (b) as a surveying tool to locate past settlements (archaeological sites) through manipulation of remote sensing data; (c) to develop three-dimensional (3D) models, especially of cave formations, in order to understand site formation processes and hominid behavior in these locations; (d) to predict the locations of archaeological sites; (e) to investigate the extent to which past societies understood and made use of landscape visibility, terrain variability, and other landscape characteristics in order to maximize benefits against perceived costs in resource exploitation; and (f) to develop information systems that can be used in heritage management and academic inquiries involving space use. In some research contexts, the GIS technology has made it possible to integrate old and new spatial data, allowing for revisiting old questions on prehistoric land use and on the occurrence of pastoralism, farming, and metallurgy in southern Africa.

The intensity and extent of GIS use in the southern African region varies across countries, institutions, and individuals, although a number of trends can be discerned from the literature. The analysis of published and unpublished sources containing evidence of GIS exploitation in southern Africa shows that these systems have been used first and foremost as map-making tools to provide visual perspective on the locations and distributions of archaeological sites or material under discussion. This is, first, because maps are communicative devices, although they can also serve as tools to think with. Second, there is more use of GIS to answer localized intra and inter-site spatial questions than there is work that investigates issues that cut across present national boundaries. Third, there are more researchers who have made use of GIS in archaeology in South Africa and Zimbabwe than in the other countries of the region. GIS technology is also being exploited by national heritage management institutions and a few private organizations, for the production of spatially enabled heritage databases. Another observation that can be made is that some of the archaeologists who are using GIS in their research in southern Africa were or are themselves based outside the region, reflecting the continuation of the global north-south pattern in the penetration of GIS technology in southern Africa. Undergraduate work on GIS helps reflect on the training that is taking place in education institutions. The popularity of the topic at undergraduate levels may have implications for its uptake at higher levels. Unfortunately, GIS work conducted by undergraduate students is not easily accessible through online means due to the repository policies of many universities. However, the literature consulted suggests that overall there is a growing interest in the use of GIS in the region.

Abstract:This article presents a methodology to process information from a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) from three dimensions (3D) to two dimensions (2D), and to two dimensions with a color value (2.5D), as a tool to document and analyze heritage buildings. Principally focused on the loss of material in stone, this study aims at creating an evaluation method for loss control, taking into account the state of conservation of a building in terms of restoration, from studying the pathologies, to their identification and delimitation. A case study on the Cathedral of the Seu Vella de Lleida was completed, examining the details of the stone surfaces. This cathedral was affected by military use, periods of abandonment, and periodic restorations.Keywords: Terrestrial Laser Scanning; orthoimage; heritage; remote sensing; preservation; archaeology

Harris, T.M. and Lock, G.R. 1990. The diffusion of a new technology: a perspective on the adoption of geographic information systems within UK archaeology, in K.M.S. Allen, S.W. Green and E.B.W. Zubrow (eds) Interpreting Space: GIS and archaeology: 33-53. London: Taylor & Francis.

A similar approach could be used, for example, to sample from the types of plants being grown in mixed cultivation farm plots. The study of Iraqi mortality since 2003 that we discussed also used cluster sampling methods because they would identify a neighborhood and then they would visit every household in a particular neighborhood. They used GPS in the 2004 method, but they used main streets and side streets to perform the sampling in the 2006 study which opened them up to criticism regarding bias in the sampling due to the dangerousness of main streets.See Shennan (1997: 382-385) for more information on applying these methods to archaeology.

  • グループについて


    bottom of page