Digital Approaches to Archaeological Data (ARC3132)

StaffDr Ioana Oltean - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to provide an overview and practical understanding of how digital technologies can be employed for the study and dissemination of archaeological data in both academic and public contexts. Students will be introduced to key digital methodologies and their applications, and will gain some basic practical skills in techniques that are changing the way we interact with archaeological source materials. They will also develop their knowledge of how to reflect critically on digital methods, helping them to assess the relevance and potential of new techniques they encounter in future.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. erstand the role of digital methods in analysing and disseminating archaeological data
  • 2. Identify appropriate ways to structure metadata about artefacts and their related entities
  • 3. Demonstrate basic competence in specific digital techniques

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Gain competence in acquiring, structuring and analysing archaeological data

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Develop capacity for critical reflection

Syllabus plan

Introduction to the course and history of use of digital approaches to archaeological data

Metadata, ontologies and Linked Open Data

3D modelling 1: photogrammetry and the modelling of cultural artefacts

3D modelling 2: LIDAR and the modelling of landscapes

Documenting virtual reconstructions

Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Image manipulation and illustration for publication

Crowdsourcing for cultural heritage analysis

Multispectral imaging

Material analysis and microscopy

Critical discussion: the application of digital technologies in archaeology

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Lectures with discussion and practical elements
Guided independent study128Reading, and interaction with digital resources

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Contribution to class discussionsContribution in discussions after lectures, as appropriate5Verbal, in class
Contribution to practical tasksContribution in practical sections of classes as appropriate 1-5Verbal, in class

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written report-style coursework assessing a specific digital methodology501500 words1,3,4,5Written
Written essay-style coursework designed to demonstrate the student’s appreciation of the wider issues of the subject502000 words1,2,4,5Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written report-style coursework assessing a specific digital methodology1500 word report1,3,4,5Referred/deferred period
Written essay-style coursework designed to demonstrate the student’s appreciation of the wider issues of the subject2000 word essay1,2,4,5Referred/deferred period

Re-assessment notes

as original assessments

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Favro, D. (2006), ‘In the eyes of the beholder: Virtual Reality Recreations and academia’, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supp. 61, Pp. 321-334

L. Richardson (2013):  A Digital Public Archaeology?. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 23(1): 10, pp. 1-12

Bodenhamer, D. J., J. Corrigan and T. M. Harris (eds), The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the future of humanities scholarship (2010) (chapter 6: G. Lock, ‘Representations of Space and Place in the Humanities’, pp 89-108)

Elliott, T, Heath, S, Muccigrosso, J, (2013), Report on the Linked Ancient World Data Institute. Information Standards Quarterly 24

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Electronic access to relevant journals e.g.:

Forensic Science International, Journal of Archaeological Science

Available as distance learning?


Origin date