GIS days 2020

GIS days 2020

DATE: 11-13 March 2020

1 ECT by attending the ArcGIS + QGIS course and finishing the accompanying assignments OR by participating in the seminar and the special topics session.
2 ECTS by attending both;
3 ECTS by also handing in a written report.

Registration: fill out the registration form below. Attendance is free of charge for ARCHON members.

11-12 March 10:00 – 17:00 – ArcGIS & QGIS course
Location: UvA, BG1 3.09 (Turfdraagsterpad 9) ArcGIS and QGIS course (taught by Jitte Waagen): introduction (or refresher) course to the basic functions of ArcGIS and QGIS- bring your own laptop!

13 March 10:00 – 12:00 – Bring your own data to the special topics session
Location: UvA, BG1 3.09 (Turfdraagsterpad 9) 

This part of the day is a special topics session where you can bring your own data and discuss your project with teachers and other students, led by Philip Verhagen. If you sign up for this, you will be asked to prepare a 10-minute presentation on your research question. 

13 March 13:00 – 17:00
Location: UvA, OMHP C1.17 (Oudemanhuispoort). An open seminar, where students and researchers from the Netherlands and abroad will present and discuss on-going GIS project. Here you can find the list of speakers and abstracts:

Konan Pruiksma – Archaeological Relevant Surfaces: A new approach to archaeological policy in Lelystad

The current archaeological policy of the municipality of Lelystad is based on old, predictive modelled, maps. However, the maps have proven to be insufficient. Therefore a new approach has been
defined that attempts to calculate the depths of so-called ’archaeologically relevant surfaces’. These surfaces concern distinguished soil layers that have a chronological correspondence to the occupation periods in the area and are likely to contain archaeological remains. For this research, two substrate surfaces have been distinguished which contain archaeological remains.
The first containing the Pleistocene cover sand substrate on which remains can be found from the Upper-Palaeolithic to the Neolithic/Bronze Age. The second containing the tidal deposits from
the Holocene on which Neolithic remains can be found (Swifterbant culture). Both surfaces have been modelled by interpolating subsurface data. Additionally, an analysis of the AHN (Algemeen Hoogtebestand Nederland) has been implemented as well. Certain landscape elements, such as canals and creeks can be indicators of the presence of archaeological remains. With these subsurface models, additional statistical certainty margins and the analysed creeks and canals, the municipality of Lelystad can develop a map with classified exclusion zones for archaeological surveys. This map will be the foundation for the new archaeological policy. This presentation will mainly focus on the technical aspects of this
research and the methods applied in GIS.

Julia Chyla (University of Warsaw): The mausoleum of Castillo de Huarmey: A case study for digital archaeology

Castillo de Huarmey is located on the central-north coast of Peru, 298 km north of Lima. In 2012, a Polish-Peruvian team discovered an Imperial Mausoleum dated to the Middle Horizon at the locality. It is the only known seat and burial ground of rulers of the Wari Empire located on the Pacific coast. The burial chamber under the Mausoleum, (approximately 3.5 by 4 m) contained the skeletal remains of fifty eight female representatives of the highest pre-Columbian elite, together with six human sacrifice victims, two guards and over 1400 items of exquisite grave goods. The magnificent artifacts found there represent the most complete set of rare, personal Wari items, coming from various cultural and technological regions of the central Andes, both from the north and from the south of Peru.

The presentation will show the process of interpreting the finds with a methodology  used in digital archaeology: from the data acquisition during excavation, through post-processing and collecting all of the information in GIS, throughout the visualization and first hypothesis, until the final interpretations of the context. The main question that I will try to answer is whether any kind of relationship can be shown between the buried women, and whether the spatial distribution of particular categories of artifacts pertained to specific spatial patterns of the burial itself.

Wouter Baernd Verschoof-van der Vaart: The use of R-CNNs in the automated detection of archaeological objects in LiDAR data

A common practice in present-day archaeology and heritage management is to manually analyze remotely sensed data for the occurrence of archaeological (landscape) objects. However, the amount of high quality, (freely) available remotely sensed data is growing at an overwhelming rate, which results in new challenges to effectively and efficiently analyze these data by hand. To cope with this problem, computer-aided methods for the (semi-) automatic detection of archaeological objects are needed.

This research project explores the implementation of Deep Learning R-CNNs (Region-based Convolutional Neural Networks) in order to develop a generic, flexible, and robust automated detection method for archaeological objects in LiDAR data.

In this paper a workflow (called WODAN 2.0) is presented. This has been trained and tested on LiDAR data gathered from a forested area in the central part of the Netherlands, the Veluwe. This area contains a multitude of archaeological objects, including (Prehistoric) barrows, Celtic fields, and (Medieval) charcoal kilns. By implementing this improved workflow we have been able to develop a method to automatically detect and categorize these archaeological objects. We will present the results of experiments done with the workflow on a newly developed reference dataset. These results will be compared to the performance of a prior workflow and the results of a large-scale citizen science project, called Heritage Quest. In this project, citizen researchers were tasked with marking barrows, Celtic fields, and charcoal kilns in LiDAR images from the Veluwe, comparable to the task of WODAN 2.0.

Manuela Ritondale (University of Groningen) Probability of wreck events in Mediterranean territorial waters: some procedural notes

This talk discusses the development of a suitable theory and GIS-based methodology for the prediction of past wreck events in Mediterranean territorial waters (i.e. 12 NM from the baseline) in the framework of my PhD research.
Particular emphasis will be given to the methodological challenges faced while attempting to overcome current shortcomings of archaeological predictive models in the maritime context. These include a) biases in the available archaeological data, which prevent an inductive approach to the model building; b) the difficulties entailed in combining environmental and socio-cultural data that have uneven scale and resolution; c) the question of how to include cultural and cognitive factors; d) the need to overcome simplistic approaches in modelling past seaborne routes. Examples of the latter are the controversial way in which the concept of ‘coastal navigation’ has been formalized and modelled, and the tendency to translate into binary terms (presence-absence) the role of potential nodes of the maritime network without considering their different degree of attractiveness.
The talk will showcase examples, including both relatively trivial GIS implementations having complex theoretical underpinnings (e.g. a layer describing the ‘coastal attractiveness’) and more complex GIS implementations based on well-established and non-controversial theory – e.g., computing a cumulative land-to-sea viewshed without assuming specific observer viewpoints, and computing non-visibility-based indicators of coastal proximity.

Ignacio Bergillos Rivas (VU Amsterdam) – The potential of vehicle-specific cost functions for Least Cost Path Analysis in Archaeology. A case study from Mt. Pyrgari (Euboea).

When looking at recent developments in Archaeological GIS studies, Least Cost Path Analysis has proved to be a very fruitful one. While not very complex in theory, it is only recently that it can be more successfully exploited thanks to the increasing efficiency of modern computers and the refinement of GIS tools. However, it is also a very challenging technique due to both theoretical and practical issues.

Integrating current discussions on walk-based LCP cost functions, the MA Thesis in which this presentation is based on tried to go a step further and extend the application of LCP analysis to vehicles as well, while developing a statistical technique to compare the efficiency of different cost functions.

The results suggested that not only ‘traditional’ LCP analysis has the potential to provide valuable new quantitative data if its potential and limitations are properly understood, but that this technique can be used to model routes undertaken in many more ways than just walking; the advantages of this possibility for Classical Archaeology are enormous.

In this presentation, a quick overview of the LCP-making procedure and underlying theory will be made, followed by a presentation of the most usual critiques and potential ways to overcome them. Then, through a case study in the quarries at the Mt. Pyrgari – Animborio Bay area (Euboea), the value of vehicle-specific cost functions will be presented, along with a simple statistical method to scale and compare the profile (both in terms of cost and slope) resulting from different cost functions.


The deadline for registration is 8 March 2020; please register by filling out the form below, and specify whether you want to sign up for the whole event, only for the ArcGIS and QGIS course, or only for the seminar + special topics session.