General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Data Interpretation And Integration For Building Strategies Of Heritage Protection And Management
Language English
Module lecturer Włodzimierz Rączkowski
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position professor
Faculty Faculty of Archeology
Semester 2021/2022 (winter)
Duration 25
USOS code 05-WA-04


Module aim (aims)

The course covers issues concerning the interpretation and integration of spatial data acquired using various methods (aerial photographs, satellite images, LiDAR, historic maps, field survey). The collection of information gained is characteristic for each method and is subject to a range of limitations. As standard, archaeologists evaluate the results in terms of their accordance (e.g., the results) with previously formulated expectations. These expectations usually emerge from knowledge held to-date. The application of more than one method gives rise to the “threat” of discrepancies within the results gained. The norm is that the result of one method (that closest to the expectations) is accepted, other methods disregarded. Such an approach is not a reflection of integrated research, despite the use of various methods. In the process of integrating methods in the study of archaeological sites the methods should be treated as mutually supplementary, not competing. In such case the discrepancies in the results become an important pretext for reflection on the cause of such variations, on the “state” of the site, its preservation, stratification processes etc. The integration of methods can and should influence deeper consideration on the significance of the formation processes in order to better understand the resulting phenomena. Different methods permit different types of information about a site to emerge.Students will acquire knowledge on issues related to the interpretation and integration of the results of various methods. Knowledge about archaeological sites and/or landscapes is the basis on which decisions are made concerning their protection and management. Thanks to the course the students will become conscious of the fact that there is no single universal method and it is necessary to integrate the results of many. The students will be able to critically evaluate the results of particular methods used in acquiring information about a site and/or landscape. Such critical evaluation should not lead to the rejection of the results of one of the methods but to consideration of the factors which determined this particular outcome. Students will also develop the ability to critically evaluate the value of certain survey methods and on this basis they will gain the skills to formulate personal opinions on the application of various methods used in the research processes applied in the investigation of archaeological sites and landscapes. By deepening their knowledge of various methods – the potential and limitations, students will be able to carry out rational decisions related to the shaping of conservation policies. This also concerns creating an interdisciplinary team and integrating information from different sources.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)



Week 1: Data interpretation and integration – theoretical background (3 hrs)

Week 2: Cartographic data vs remote sensing data (3 hrs)

Week 3: GIS as integration of data platform (3 hrs)

Week 4: Problems generated by integration – different data, different knowledge (3 hrs)

Week 5: Case studies – discussion (3 hrs)

Week 6: Project preparation (3 hrs)

Week 7: Project presentations and discussion (2 hrs)

+ 5 hrs turorial

Reading list

Alexakis D., Sarris A., Astaras T., Albanakis K. 2011. Integrated GIS, remote sensing and geomorphologic approaches for the reconstruction of the landscape habitation of Thessaly during the neolithic period, Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 38: 89-100.Bevan A., Conolly J. 2004. GIS, Archaeological Survey, and Landscape Archaeology on the Island of Kythera, Greece, Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol. 29, No. 1/2, pp. 123 -138.Campana S., Piro S. (eds.) 2008, Seeing the Unseen. Geophysics and Landscape Archaeology, Taylor&Francis.Ciminale M., Gallo D., Lasaponara R., Masini N. 2008. Ground-based, aerial and satellite remote sensing to investigate archaeological and palaeoenvironmental features: the study case of Tavoliere (Apulia, Italy), in: Advances on Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management, (eds) R. Lasaponara, N. Masini. Rome: EARSeL, CNR, 195-199. Evans R., Jones R.J.A. 1977. Crop Marks and Soils at Two Archaeological Sites in Britain. Journal of Archaeological Science 4: 63-76.Hodder I. 1999. The Archaeological Process. An Introduction. Blackwell, Oxford.Mohamed A., Abdelwahab M., Burkhardt H., el Din Khalil B. 2008. Integration of Magnetic and Resistivity Imaging Surveys forArchaeological Prospection in the Southern Part of Meroe City(Capital of Kush, Sudan), in: Layers of Perception. Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Berlin, 2.-6. April 2007, (eds) Posluschny, A. , Lambers K., Herzog I. Bonn, 1-10.Kvamme K. L., Ahler S. A. 2007. Integrated Remote Sensing and Excavation at Double Ditch State Historic Site, North Dakota, American Antiquity, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 539-561Rączkowski W. 2006. Towards integration: two prospection methods and some thoughts, [in:] From Space to Place. 2ndInternational Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology, (eds) S. Campana, M. Forte. Oxford: Archeopress, 203–206.Scardozzi G. 2008. Hierapolis of Phrygia Project: integration of archaeological survey and remote sensing data, in: Advances on Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management, (eds) R. Lasaponara, N. Masini. Rome: EARSeL, CNR, 425-428.Schiffer M.B. 1987. Formation processes of the archaeological record. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.Stewart C. , Oren E.D., Cohen-Sasson E. 2018. Satellite Remote Sensing Analysis of the Qasrawet Archaeological Site in North Sinai, Remote Sensing, vol. 10, 1090Tapete D. 2018. Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology, Geoscience, vol. 8, 41.Tapete D., Cigna F. 2018. Appraisal of Opportunities and Perspectives for the Systematic Condition Assessment of Heritage Sites with Copernicus Sentinel-2 High-Resolution Multispectral Imagery, Remote Sensing, vol.10, 561.Vermeulen F. 2013. Interdisciplinary non-invasive survey approaches to ancient towns: some applications and visualisations from the Roman West, in: Exempli Gratia: Sagalassos, Mark Waelkens and interdisciplinary archaeology, (ed.) J. Poblome. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 165-182.Webster P. 1978. Cardiff Castle: The Excavation of a Crop Mark Site. Aerial Archaeology. 2: 56-57.Wilson D.R. 1982. Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists. Batsford, London.