Science and computing in archaeology

Archaeology of the Holy Lands
Science and computing in archaeology
Introduction to Archaeology

Latest methods and applications in modern archaeology

An exciting and innovative on-line module where students have the opportunity to gain experience in theoretical and practical usage of all the latest scientific and computer techniques currently used in archaeology.

With the ever increasing number of computer applications applied to archaeology today, it is essential for the student of archaeology to understand the basics of these diverse applications. From desk top research skills to the use of databases, graphics, satellite remote sensing, archaeoastronomy, GPS and GIS use, 3D and Virtual Reconstruction (VR) of archaeology sites. The course will cover many of these aspects allowing the students a chance to gain a “hands on” approach of many of these programmes.

A number of interesting global sites will be used to demonstrate the outcomes of these applications, including the current on-going research of the scientific techniques used at the Megalithic Maen cetti stone (King Arthur’ Stone) on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales.


Course syllabus:


Session 1

1.1 Introduction to the course

1.2 Bibliography and sources

1.3 Is archaeology a science?

1.4 The background and history of archaeology. Origins and chronology.


Session 2

2.1 Overview of computer and scientific applications.

2.2 Introduction to the computer and its applications

Word Processing – Databases – spreadsheets

2.3 The World Wide Web (WWW)


Session 3

3.1 The WWW and archaeology

3.2 Navigating the web

3.3 Introduction to selected archaeological sites

3.4 The project site – Burgundy


Session 4

4.1Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Global Positioning system GPS, satellite imagery and aerial photography.

4.2 Using the Burgundy project site.


Session 5

5.1 Scientific applications – Ground radar – resistivity etc

5.2 Dating techniques. From Dendrochronology (tree ring dating) to radiocarbon and thermoluminescence.


Session 6

6.1 Report writing – Introduction

6.2 Word processing (using Microsoft word)

6.3 Databases and spreadsheets

6.4 Integrating applications in report writing


Session 7

7.1 Overview of report writing

7.2 Excavation sites from the web demonstrating report summaries, including the utilisation of graphics.

7.3 Project work



Session 8

8.1 The future of archaeology

8.2 3D and Virtual Reality (VR) imagery, using selected sites from the WWW

8.3 Computer applications in archaeology conference – Latest/current

8.4 Which way forward ?


Session 9

9.1 Overview of project work

9.2 Integration of applications and sample report of excavation sites


Session 10


Project dissemination

Overview of course.

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Archaeology and ancient history modules