Advanced Archaeological Training

Christian NEUWIRTH
(University of Salzburg – UNIGIS Distance Learning in Geoinformatics, Austria)

Keywords: terrain modelling, spatial simulation, free and open tools, geoinformatics in archeology

The systematic analysis of geodata opens great opportunities for archeologist who are interested in quantitative hypothesis testing and analytics. In this training session, we will give an overview of computational tools, concepts and their application in the field of archeology. In order to deepen the practical understanding of participants, we will introduce methods such as high-resolution LIDAR data manipulation, spatial analysis and spatial simulation in a guided hands-on session.

Participants have the opportunity to get to know these methods by examining the potential irrigation function of a canal-shaped landform in Upper Austria. In order to investigate this hypothesis, we will reconstruct the pre-modern terrain model. This modified DTM allows us to model the most favorable course of the canal considering continuous slope and minimal earth volume to dig out. Geometrical deviations between digital reconstruction and observed structures are revealed analytically and through visual comparison. Eventually, canal water flow is simulated to examine the potential irrigation function of the purged canal.

Different free and open tools such as QGIS, Python or GAMA are used to perform the respective tasks. The training session covers comparably simple geospatial operations (spatial referencing, DTM pre-processing etc.) as well as the more advanced topics of spatial simulation. Accordingly, the proposed event equally addresses geospatial newbies and more experienced participants.