Category Archives: Artikel

Ph. D. Project: Towards a conceptual reference model for archaeological information within the context of Geographic Information System

The aim of the thesis is to contribute to the development of a conceptual reference model for archaeological information by investigating the underlying principles of archaeological information, in the context of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Data are the basis of any scientific empirical investigation. They are the formalized reinterpretable representation of information acquired through observation or measuring processes. Archaeological data occupy in this context at twofold hand a rather peerless position within sciences. The often-unique character of the data acquisition process (e.g. excavation), due to its destructive and consequently unrepeatable nature, makes out of archaeological data an irretrievable documentation of past human presence, looming furthermore archaeology’s epistemological foundation. Moreover, it is particularly the complex ontic nature of an archaeological object, that shapes the archaeological data in a distinctive manner. Both aspects allow qualifying archaeological data as being spatio-temporal, imperfect, heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal.
Albeit long-term investigations and recent research progresses, Geographic Information Systems are still immature in handling archaeological data. One major reason for this inability stems from the inchoate and insufficient conceptual framework to which GIS applications may refer within archaeology. Information Systems and as such Geographic Information Systems need to be tailored in respect to ontic and epistemic information characteristics to become fully exploitable within their application domain. This requires a consistent conceptual model of the domain knowledge. Since the way in which data are conceptualized, is pivotal as to how an Information System might fulfil its functions. It defines its informative, memorative but also its active functions by means of information retrieval, access, handling and analysing – an often highly underestimated fact.
In striving for a conceptual reference model conceptual modeling is deployed- a common method within computer science. Conceptual modeling seeks representing real world phenomena by an abstraction process in form of a conceptual model. Thereby domain specific concepts and their mutual relation, as well as their behavioural and structural aspects need to be identified, defined and constructed. Considering the increasing importance of Information Systems, and GIS in particular, within archaeology, one might thus be surprised, although the fundamental importance of a conceptual framework, that the investigations in this sense have been minor within archaeology.

Scrutinizing archaeological objects from a conceptual perspective requires reasoning about their ontic nature. This gives rise to a range of issues including: What defines an archaeological object? How does it behave in space? How does it evolve over time? Does change affect an object’s identity? These are some of the questions investigated in the context of the thesis. Thereby the study expects contributing to an enhanced conceptual understanding of archaeological data.

Pattern recognition and archaeology – Semi-automated detection of ground monuments in airborne laser scan data (LiDAR)

In recent years, LiDAR scanning has become a widely used tool for understanding both the cultural and natural landscape surrounding us. The result of this is, that new 3-dimensional point based LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data is consistently being generated in a more precise and detailed version of raw point cloud form.

Airborne laser scan data includes information about the ground surface as well as the existing vegetation allowing to virtually remove for instance forests to reveal hidden structures. Even ground monuments which are heavily eroded and/or very flat can be detected by this approach. (Interpolated) surface models are often used to visualize the findings.

Available LiDAR scans of the Bavarian State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation for the district of Lower Franconia with its 8531 km2 as our test area accumulates to 2.8 TB of data. An editor familiar with the data can process approximately 30 km2 per day, resulting in 1.2 years for a one-time analysis of Lower Franconia and already ten years for the state Bavaria. Continuous and iterative explorations increase the amount of data to be handled and lead to time frames not feasible for research.

In order to cope with the increasing amount of spatial and radiometric information, a systematic and semi-automated process needs to be defined in order to control and handle these accumulated amounts of otherwise unrestrained information. Thus the collaborate project intends to focus on the development of technologies and methodologies for the creation of an interactive research data gateway.

The utilization of LiDAR data provides a novel approach for locating and monitoring cultural heritage in the landscape, especially in areas of logistical complications, e.g. forest, rough terrain, and remote areas. However, the utilisation of LiDAR presently lacks standardised approaches for proper handling, developing, and processing within the field of cultural heritage management. Further, a majority of stakeholders within the field of archaeology and cultural heritage management encounters various problems regarding macro- and micromanagement when handling and processing LiDAR data, often resolving in quantitative assessment being impractical or impossible. Thus, in order for LiDAR data to become a truly competent method for heritage management, a large scale quantitative approach for handling, developing, and processing needs to be formed and defined. Such is the background, premise and resolve for this project.

Hügelgräberdetail+Hügelgräber_Wald

Figure 1: On the left no archaeological ground monuments can be seen in the aerial image of the forest nearby Urphar (at River Main, District Unterfranken in Germany). With the point signature finds of ceramic shards of the late Bronze Age are marked in Geographic Information System (GIS). The sits information is taken from the databases of the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, which is a partner of our project. The right picture shows the LIDAR scan of the so called DGM1 ground surface of the Bavarian State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation in the same area without any disturbing vegetation. It uncovers a group of prehistoric grave hills. These were previously unknown because they are heavily eroded and very flat. The funnel in the center of each burial mounds gives information about illegal grave robberies.

 

Sub-project

The sub-project, LiDAR based semi-automatic pattern recognition within an archaeological landscape, is focused on adapting and creating semi-automatic procedures for handling and processing LiDAR data within cultural heritage monument detection and large scale cultural heritage management.

Particular emphasis is on the implementation of pattern recognition algorithms for semi-automatic detection within 3dimensional vector and 2dimensional raster data.

In doing so, the effort of this project will be focused on pattern recognition algorithms in order to define quantitative methods of handling and processing 3dimensional LiDAR data and subsequent 2dimensional raster by implementing standardised and state of the art systematic and semi-automated approaches for cultural heritage detection and management.

Besides state of the art algorithms for automatic procedures of cultural heritage detection and management, the result of the project will also be focused on key technologies regarding data life cycle in joint collaboration with the Software Methods Group (SWM) and the KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). The joint collaboration will be focused on data sustainability, and optimizing visualisation procedures for differentiated fields of focus.

 

Acknowledgments

In addition to the Bavarian State Offices for Sites and Monuments (Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege) and the Environment (Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt), we would particularly like to thank the Bavarian State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation (Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation) for providing access to unpublished data like the DTM1s. Without the cooperation of these authorities this project and associated project, Transformation of Settlement Sites from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages in Lower Franconia, would not have been possible.

Expert Forum on “The future of archaeological knowledge curation 2021-2026”, 16-17 June 2016 in Athens

The ARIADNE Expert Forum “The future of archaeological knowledge curation 2021-2026” on 16-17 June 2016 in Athens, Greece is organized by the Digital Curation Unit, IMIS-Athena Research Centre. It is co-organized with the Faculty of Information (iSchool), University of Toronto and the Department of Informatics, Athens University of Economics and Business as part of the activities of ARIADNE – Advanced Research Infrastructure for Archaeological Dataset Networking in Europe.

The Expert Forum aims to unite an international community of researchers in a constructive debate on the use of digital technology to ensure the future value of pre-existing archaeological knowledge through further curation, access and reuse. In tandem with organized archaeological databases, corpora and repositories it will reflect on the future of past excavation data and archives, commercial archaeology reports, archaeological museum collections, corpora and gazetteers, historical and ethnographic testimonies, grey literature, and visualizations of archaeological entities. It will seek to synthesize the experiences, know-how and insights of participants on how to address the growing curation crisis in archaeology in an increasingly pervasive networked digital environment, and on the challenges faced and opportunities offered by digital infrastructures in the next 5-10 years. The viewpoints invited are multi-disciplinary and diverse, ranging from academic researchers to practitioners, and from archaeologists to specialists in information, archival science, computer science, and science and technology studies. ARIADNE is looking for informed and thoughtful contributions to an interactive process, rather than for a pre-prepared formal talk or conference paper.

ARIADNE Summer School on archaeological digital curation-

PDF-Text ARIADNE Summer School on archaeological digital curation

This Expert Forum is an initiative of the ARIADNE Special Interest Group on Archaeological Research Methods and Practices, and seeks to take forward the work of a highly successful Expert Forum on Digital Futures of Archaeological Practice 2020-2025 organized in 2015. It is part of a Summer School on the Digital curation of archaeological knowledge: New approaches to digital research, information management and communication in archaeology, planned to take place in Athens between 12–17 June 2016 in Athens, Greece, as an ARIADNE (WP8 – Data and Dataset Design) Trans-National Access (TNA) activity. The Summer School is structured in two parts: a Workshop from 12-16 June, and the Expert Forum on 16-17 June.

A limited number of bursaries, covering the cost of participation, travel and accommodation to a maximum of 1000 Euros, are available to prospective participants who are employed by or are registered as students in an institution located in one of the EU Member States and Associated States. All levels of applicants, from experienced scholars to graduate students, will be considered. Applicants should specify if they wish to attend the Workshop, the Expert Forum, or both. A selection panel will be evaluating bursary applications on a rolling basis until 5 June 2016.

You will find the draft programme and further details on the Expert Forum and Summer School at http://summerschool.dcu.gr
Information on the selection process, eligibility criteria, priorities and application forms can be found on the ARIADNE website, http://www.ariadne-infrastructure.eu/Transnational-Access/How-to-apply Finally, information on the ARIADNE infrastructure is available at http://www.ariadne-infrastructure.eu , and on the Digital Curation Unit at http://www.dcu.gr

Georeferenzierung des Lorscher Codex

Innerhalb des HGIS-Clubs, einer interdisziplinären Lehrveranstaltung der Geschichte, Geo-Informatik und der Digital Humanities an der Universität Heidelberg, ist im Verlauf der letzten Semester ein Projekt zur Georeferenzierung der Ortsnamennennungen aus dem Loscher Codex entstanden. Der Lorscher Codex aus dem späten 8. Jahrhundert ist ein sehr bedeutendes Manuskript für viele Regionen, da in diesem mehr als 1000 Ortsnamen Zentraleuropas erstmals im Zusammenhang des weit verstreuten Eigentums des ehemaligen Lorscher Klosters schriftlich erwähnt werden. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg können nun erste Ergebnisse zur Ortsnamenkartierung online präsentiert werden:

Ortsnamen-Nennungen_Lorscher-Codex_A-Volkmann

Kartierung der insgesamt 6511 Ortsnamennennungen von über 1000 Orten mit Besitzungen des Kloster Lorsch im und um das Rheinland in QGIS (Kartierung A. Volkmann auf LANDSAT Satellitenbild).

umap-Kartierung der Ortsnamennennungen aus dem Lorscher Codex auf der OpenStreetMap

Project RetroDig is launched at Heidelberg University

As a case study in the field of digital cultural heritage the project RetroDig develops infrastructure and workflows for retro-digitalisation and academic analysis of paper-based documents. The Project RetroDig concentrates on retro-digitalisation and academic analysis of analog records focused on preserving information. Retro-digitalisation also signifies standardised   digitalisation of analog media and transformation of information to machine-readable data for large scale computation and analysis.

The present and so far unpublished documentation of the Roman fort excavation in Heidelberg-Neuenheim in the 1970s were reprocessed. Data from area of interest was all analog so far. Due to the course of the excavations, where researched records are mostly irrecoverable going to be destroyed, only the documentation of records is the only way for ongoing studies. Production methods, storage conditions, environmental influences and also the simple touching of paper documents are reducing the span of life and threaten the recorded data upon it.

Ziziphus - Screenshot

Fig. 1: Retro-digitalisation of the excavation diary; editors draft for annotation of text and image section with person name markings; source: excavation dairy “Heukemes” of the excavation “Kastellweg 1975” Kurpfälzische Museum Stadt Heidelberg ©.

The goal of Digital Cultural Heritage project RetroDig is the extraction of a best possible digital copy. Thereby the analysis and extraction of the contained information shall be proceeded at very little effort. The information will be stored as future secured interoperable data for prospective usage in the field of Digital Humanities. In order to do so, already developed digital tools will be used, modified and provided as a cheap and lasting open-source solution (see figure above). The results of the case study can be used disciplinary in research and teaching – the developed infrastructure, however, can also be used interdisciplinary in other academic fields.

Within the project work flow, the first task was scanning the archive inventory containing hundreds of separate drawn excavation plans and handwritten field notes as well as revised and verified photographs. After that, standardised scanning of archival footage with calibrated settings and meta-data enrichment of scanned data in the Tamboti Ecosystem began. The archival footage is now to be fully digitalised by transcribing the scanned handwritten notes. The digitalised data is based upon the Extensible Markup Language-Standard (XML), which is the base for further textual data analysis (see figure below). In the last step, all data will be added to the Tamboti Ecosytem, where they will be permanently available for further evaluation, presentation and publication of the results of the excavations. RetroDig is a cooperation of the Junior Research Group Digital Humanities and Digital Cultural Heritage, and the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA) at the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, in joint collaboration with the Kurpfälzische Museum of the City of Heidelberg.

xml-screenshot

Fig. 2: XML file from transcribed text out of the scanned handwritten notes, JRG DH/ HRA ©.

Within our next steps, we are developing a digital edition of the so far unpublished excavations of the Roman fort in Heidelberg-Neuenheim. And we co-operate with the project HyperImage [7] in order to generate powerful image-text-multimedia annotations within exhibitions in a context of museal presentations with interactive applications via touch screens.

[1] https://heidelberger-forum-edition.de/retrodigitalisierung

[2] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidelberg_in_r%C3%B6mischer_Zeit

[3] http://kjc-sv016.kjc.uni-heidelberg.de:8080/exist/apps/tamboti/modules/search/index.html

[4] http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/en/research/jrg/jrg-digital-humanities.html

[5] http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/en/hra-portal.html

[6] http://www.museum-heidelberg.de/pb/,Lde/Startseite/Museum/Forschung.html

[7 ]http://hyperimage.ws/

LiDAR group, Open presentation day.

You are cordially invited to attend an open presentation day regarding cultural heritage detection and landscape analysis.

VENUE

Di. 20.1.2015, 14.30 h – 17.00 h

Raum: Hörsaal, Berliner Str. 48, Geog. Institut

Veranstaltung: “LIDAR Group Open Presentations”

The agenda includes several presentations, future collaboration, and time for comprehensive discussions (see below).

 AGENDA

Open Presentations, topics (2.30 pm):

 – Template-matching Approach Combining Morphometric Variables for Automated Mapping of Charcoal Kiln Sites (A.Schneider, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg)(20-30 min)

– Two different approaches of automatic cultural heritage detection (H.Raun)(10-15 min)

– Landscape archaeology and LiDAR analysis among the river Main (A.Volkmann)(10-15 min)

– Using DEM visualization techniques for large area archaeological prospection (R.Hesse)(10-15 min)

– Object detection of hidden cultural heritage in the undergrowth based on airborne and terrestrial laser scanning – a case study at the Königstuhl hillside (M.Pfeiffer)(10-15 min)

– Overview of LRG activities (B.Höfle)(10-15 min)

 BREAK

Thereafter: closed meeting for LiDAR group and guest speaker: Dr. Anna Schneider & Dr. Ralf Hesse

 Topics for general discussion (approx. 4 pm):

– automatic detection : collaboration and improving possibilities

– Digital archaeological data infrastructure ; hosting ; (openATLAS)

– Work coordination

– Requesting additional data

– The open position at the SWM KIT

Feel free to bring further spontaneous topics for discussion.

LiDAR based semi-automatic pattern recognition within an archaeological landscape

A PhD-project in association with Dr. Armin Volkmann (Junior Research Group Digital Humanities and Digital Cultural Heritage at the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing and Cluster of Excellence Asia & Europe in Global Context), Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf and Jun.-Prof. Bernhard Höfle (Geoinformatics), Prof. Dr. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos (Institute of Archaeology), and funded by the HGS MathComp Graduate School at Heidelberg University. In further collaboration with Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung (BLV) und Denkmalpflege (BLD), and Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (KIT).

The project is focused on adapting and creating semi-automatic procedures for handling and processing LiDAR data within cultural heritage monument detection and large scale cultural heritage management. Particular emphasis is on the implementation of pattern recognition algorithms for semi-automatic detection within 3D, 2½D, and 2D LiDAR derived data.

The utilization of LiDAR provides several novel approaches for locating and monitoring cultural heritage, especially in areas of logistical complications, e.g. forest, rough terrain, and remote areas (cf. figure 1 & 2). In order to cope with the huge amount of generated 3D LiDAR point clouds, systematic and semi-automated procedures needs to be defined to control and handle these accumulated amounts of otherwise unrestrained information.

In doing so, the effort of this project will be focused on pattern recognition algorithms to define quantitative methods of handling and processing 3D LiDAR data and subsequent 2D raster by implementing standardised and state of the art systematic and semi-automated approaches for cultural heritage detection and management.

Further, a research data gateway will be created within a WebGIS for extended parameterization of 2D and 3D LiDAR data with added databases of archaeological site information.

Figure 1.  Multiple layers on reality. Combining laser scanning for optimal scaling possibilities together with other sources, often reveal new features yet unknown. Figure 1 displays airborne and terrestrial laser scanning combined with street map at the Königstuhl, Heidelberg. New features detected; a house, two cellar structures, and several pathway and terrace systems dating back to the 16th and 17th century. Source: ALS Landesamt für Geoinformation und Landentwicklung Baden-Württemberg. TLS: Höfle, Pfeiffer and Raun. Map: OpenStreetMap.

Figure 1.
Multiple layers on reality. Combining laser scanning for optimal scaling possibilities together with other sources, often reveal new features yet unknown. Figure 1 displays airborne and terrestrial laser scanning combined with street map at the Königstuhl, Heidelberg. New features detected; a house, two cellar structures, and several pathway and terrace systems dating back to the 16th and 17th century. Source: ALS Landesamt für Geoinformation und Landentwicklung Baden-Württemberg. TLS: Höfle, Pfeiffer and Raun. Map: OpenStreetMap.

Figure 2. Revealing landscape. Underneath the underwood on Reussenberg near Karsbach, several new details arise in the interpolated landscape around the 13th century Reussenburg ruin. Source: ALS and historical maps: Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung.

Figure 2.
Revealing landscape. Underneath the underwood on Reussenberg near Karsbach, several new details arise in the interpolated landscape around the 13th century Reussenburg ruin. Source: ALS and historical maps: Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung.

 

 

New Junior Research Group “Digital Humanities and Digital Cultural Heritage” at Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, University of Heidelberg

The aim of the JRG Digital Humanities is the establishment of knowledge for digital methods and standards in the humanities and the arts. The spectrum of the young discipline of digital humanities ranges from the corpus linguistics through computer philology to applied computer sciences. The JRG thus complements the ongoing projects of the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA) in the field of digital cultural heritage, which involve issues revolving around the standardization of workflows and the digitization and treatment of heterogeneous data sets (text, sound, images, and data). In addition, the JRG supports the HRA with the conceptual development of the teaching of innovative methods of digital humanities at Heidelberg University and are planning to jointly organize workshops, training sessions, and seminars at different levels of knowledge for specific target groups.

Within the framework of this research group we examines discourses linked to new possibilities in the use of digital methods in archeology and evaluates opportunities and risks associated with big research datasets. This will results in standardized workflows for further archaeological investigations. We are also part of a team which works with GIS and LIDAR laser scanning data (2D and 3D modelling) in cooperation with a network of various research institutions within a digital research infrastructure. Furthermore, we  are developing VREs (virtual research environments) for specific workflows such as the digitization of sub-projects in the humanities and arts.

http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/en/research/jrg/jrg-digital-humanities.html

2 Doctoral Scholarships in “Archaeological Information Systems” and “GIScience/Geoinformatics”

The Junior Research Group “Digital Humanities/Digital Cultural heritage” of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context,” in cooperation with the “Heidelberg Graduate School for Mathematical and Computational Methods in the Sciences”, offers two doctoral scholarships with focus on “Archaeological Information Systems” and “Digital Cultural heritage”.

Within the framework of the research group we will look at discourses linked to changes of new possibilities in the use of digital methods in archeology. Opportunities and risks associated with big research data sets will be ascertained. This results in standardized workflows that serve further investigations. We work on a team with GIS and laser scan data (2D and 3D modeling) in cooperation with a research network of various institutions within a digital research infrastructure. And we also develop VREs (Virtual Research Environments) for specific digitalization workflows of sub-projects in archaeology.

The successful applicants’ primary task will be to complete a PhD degree, but active participation in relevant graduate courses offered at the Cluster of Excellence or other institutes at Heidelberg University is recommended. The stipends are rated at € 1200 to 1468/month. Access to travel and publication funding is available.

Candidates must hold an M.A. or equivalent in a relevant discipline of Pre- and Early History (“Ur- und Frühgeschichte”), Historical Sciences, GIScience /Geoinformatics, Landscape Archaeology and Geomatics or Archaeological Information Systems (“Archäoinformatik”) etc. and experience in archaeological fieldwork methods in Europe and/or Asian contexts. Proficiency in English is mandatory. German and French language skills are desirable. An interest in interdisciplinary collaboration is essential.

To apply, send curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, an outline of a dissertation project (2-3 pages) related to the research group, names and contact details of two referees, and one written sample (altogether in one PDF) via email to Dr. Armin Volkmann (armin.volkmann[at]asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de). Stipend start should be in 2013, review of applications will continue until the positions are filled.

Heidelberg University is an equal opportunity/affirmative-action employer. In case of equality of qualification and suitability of applicants, the applications made by female researchers will be given preferential consideration. We also encourage and welcome applications from disabled persons.

For additional information see: http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/en

Semi-automatisierte Detektion von Bodendenkmälern in Airborne-Laserscandaten (LIDAR)

In den letzten Jahren sind durch systematische Befliegungen der Vermessungsämter der einzelnen Bundesländer hochauflösende Airborne-Laserscandaden (LIDAR) erhoben worden, aus denen sehr detaillierte 3-dimensionale Modelle der Geländeoberfläche (Geländemodelle) erstellt werden können.[1] Die Messpunktdichte liegt im wenigen Dezimeterbereich, sodass auch sehr kleinräumige Objekte unter einem Meter Größe dargestellt werden können. Diese Geländemodelle werden üblicherweise bisher meist in der Vermessungskunde, Kartografie, Bauleitplanung und den Hochwassermanagement eingesetzt. Für die Archäologie ist ihr Einsatz recht neu, wobei erste Projekte das hohe Erkenntnispotential verdeutlichen (vgl. Volkmann im Druck, 249-251). Das Innovative an LIDAR-Geländemodellen ist, dass durch die Verwendung des sogenannten „zweiten Meßsignals“ die Vegetationsbedeckung herausgerechnet werden kann (vgl. Opitz 2012, 16). So können bei der Interpolation der Geländemodelle auch kleinste Bodenerhebungen, als letzte Spuren von einstigen anthropogenen Bodeneingriffen, durch „Überhöhung“ sichtbar gemacht werden (vgl. Mark 1992). Dies ist beispielsweise von besonderer Relevanz in Waldgebieten, die aufgrund der störenden Vegetation der Bäume für klassische archäologische Prospektionsverfahren (systematische Oberflächenbegehungen), aber auch Geophysikalische Prospektionen nicht geeignet sind. In den Wäldern sind daher noch zahlreiche unbekannte Bodendenkmäler, die bisher nicht entdeckt wurden und so in archäologischen Studien nicht auswertbar sind. So ist anhand von mikroregionalen Studien, die eine Untersuchungsfläche systematisch und flächendeckend prospektierten, davon auszugehen, dass meist nur ca. 10% der Bodendenkmäler überhaupt bekannt sind. Die Dunkelziffer der zu 90% unbekannten Bodendenkmäler kann durch die systematische Anwendung von LIDAR erheblich gesenkt werden. Dies ist nicht nur für das Cultural Heritage des Management und die Erfassung des Weltkulturerbes der Denkmale ein Desiderat, sondern auch im Rahmen der Bauleitplanungen können so archäologische Verdachtsflächen präziser ausgewiesen werden, was eine größere Planungssicherheit für die Investoren ermöglicht. Für quantitative Untersuchungen der archäologischen Wissenschaften, ist es essentiell notwendig möglichst viele (im äußerst seltenen Idealfall alle) Bodendenkmäler einer Region zu kennen, um sich so der ehemaligen „prähistorischen Wirklichkeit“ annähern zu können. Dieses Forschungsfeld wird als Landschaftsarchäologie bezeichnet, innerhalb der komplexe, prähistorische Besiedlungsmuster des Verhältnisses von Burgen, Siedlungen, Wegenetze und Friedhöfe etc. zueinander analysiert werden.
In den Landesvermessungsämtern liegen mittlerweile gigantische Datenmengen an Airborne-Laserscandaten (LIDAR) vor. Um diese Datensätze für die oben genannten Fragestellungen effektiv und vor allem systematisch auswerten zu können, müssen Instrumentarien entwickelt werden, die dies in einem standardisierten Workflow erlauben (vgl. Hesse 2012, 176f.). Bisher sind die LIDAR-Daten meist nur im Einzelfall, oft ergänzend zu herkömmlichen archäologischen Ausgraben, eingesetzt worden. Dies sind dann aber nur Fallbeispiele, die zwar Rückschlüsse auf analoge Befunde erlauben, jedoch keine empirisch belegbaren Aussagen in quantitativen Studien zulassen.

[1] Siedlungsraumtransformationen der Spätantike bis zum Frühmittelalter am Main

Literatur:
R. Hesse, The changing picture of archaeological landscapes: lidar prospection over very large areas as part of a cultural heritage strategy. In: R.-S. Opitz/D.-C. Cowley (Ed.) Interpreting archaeological topography (2012) 171-183.
Z. Kokalj/K.Zaksek/K. Ostir, Visualisations of lidar derived relief models. In: S. R.-S. Opitz/D.-C. Cowley (Ed.) Interpreting archaeological topography (2012) 100-114.
H. Mara/S. Krömker/S. Jakob/B. Breuckmann, GigaMesh and Gilgamesh – 3D Multiscale Integral Invariant Cuneiform Character Extraction. In: A. Artusi/M. Joly-Parvex/G. Lucet/ A. Ribes/D. Pitzalis (Ed.), The 11th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage VAST (2010). http://uni-heidelberg.academia.edu/HubertMara
R. Mark, Multidirectional, oblique-weighted, shaded-relief image of the Island of Hawaii http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1992/of92-422/
R.-S. Opitz, An overview of airborne and terrestrial laser scanning in archaeology. In: R.-S. Opitz/D.-C. Cowley (Ed.) Interpreting archaeological topography (2012) 100-114.
A. Volkmann, Siedlung – Klima – Migrationen: Geoarchäologische Forschungen zur Oderregion zwischen 700 vor und 1000 nach Chr. mit Schwerpunkt auf der Völkerwanderungszeit (Bonn 2013).

On the road towards a Digital Research Infrastructure for archaeologists

Digital data infrastructures for the arts and humanities are currently being developed within the framework of various projects in Germany and Europe. Among these projects, DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) is one of the largest projects. And it is designed as a long-term project.[1] DARIAH focuses primarily on philology and history. But the project is open to other disciplines. So DARIAH is also conceptualizing a data infrastructure for archeology. The cooperation with other infrastructure projects (such as IANUS at the German Archaeological Institute – DAI) is a key component in the architecture of the digital data infrastructure for archaeologists.[2] Furthermore it should be taken into account the collaboration with the project CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure).[3] This data infrastructure project is geared to linguistic needs. Within the network of the different data infrastructure projects, DARIAH could be aimed to harmonize the national activities on the EU level. International data networks of archeology are desirable in related regions such as the North and Baltic Sea coast to go beyond existing administrative boundaries of research.

But what are the specific needs of archaeologists to a digital research data infrastructure? Is it even possible to implement a centralized research data infrastructure (that is accepted by the researchers) in the very heterogeneous landscape of archaeological sciences in Germany? Therefore, it seems very important right from the start of the project to involve as many partners as possible in the conception of the infrastructure. The structure of federal states in Germany did not enable the foundation of a national archaeological data service, such as in the Netherlands or the UK.[4] The political conditions are contrary to centralized efforts. Thus, a decentralized architecture of the data infrastructure represents a solution to the existing problem. The cooperative project with equal partners should bring together both: the research at the universities as well as at the national archives of administration. It makes mutually accessible the respective databases for all partners. Forthermore the DARIAH service will provide a redundant long-term binary data storage with sovereign rights of data privacy and security requirements.

[1] http://de.dariah.eu/partner

[2] http://www.ianus-fdz.de/projects/uebersicht

[3] http://www.clarin.eu/external/

[4] http://csanet.org/newsletter/fall12/nlf1202.html

How to identify climate signals within a GIS site catchment analysis

In the River Oder region, an abandonment of the settlements of the migration period has been identified. As the archaeological finding site analysis shows, the region was virtually uninhabited from 450 to 700 AD. Was an ecological crisis the reason for that exodus? Unfortunately, we have only very few scientific data sets from the German-Polish border region. So I had to find new ways to generate arguments and answer this question. By a systematic site catchment analysis I could find out signals of the paleoclimate. They are the evidence of dramatic climate fluctuations. And this is the biggest reason of the emigration of the inhabitants. At the same time the results of the site catchment analysis are the base for a predictive modeling with has clearly defined areas of high and low probabilities of finding sites.

In the context of the present study, an analysis in a GIS of sites from the Iron Age to the Early Middle Ages was applied to the River Oder Region. A site catchment analysis of the topographical setting, the soil and broader parameters was conducted as a GIS examination. In this the spatial data information in a probable operating radius around the respective settlements of the individual periods was collected and evaluated statistically. In this way, statistically significant climate proxies on the relative humidity index and temperature pattern of the paleoclimate could be demonstrated. Through the use of weighted average means it was possible to describe climate signals of the compared periods. The quantitative analysis of the data of more than 500 finding sites allows identifying significant signals. As a result I found out that at the end of the Iron Age and at the beginning of the migration period, dramatic climate fluctuations are recognized. The climate fluctuations are the main reason for emigration out of this region. In the migration period, and again at the end of the Iron Age, the region was virtually uninhabited for 250 years. The data from the site catchment analysis is in a next step the base for a predictive modeling with has clearly defined areas of high and low probabilities of finding sites.

A site catchment analysis of the topographical setting, the soil and broader parameters was conducted as a GIS examination, in which the spatial data information in a probable operating radius around the respective settlements of the individual periods was collected and evaluated statistically. In this way, statistically significant climate proxies on the relative humidity index and temperature pattern of the paleoclimate could be demonstrated. In addition, the deciding location factors of the soil and the geoecological environment of the settlement as well as distortionary anthropogenic and natural superimpositions were discussed. The ecological indicator values were rearranged into concise categories in a transformation process in consideration of their usability and informative value for matters concerning prehistoric, agronomically orientated cultures and checked for climate signals.  The identified climate signals do not represent absolute data, but rather indirect, relative data, which permit comparative statements concerning the previous and subsequent level.

With the use of comparative climate research, palynology, dendrochronology, the status of glaciers, river levels and models of paleotemperature, the climate signals that were produced in the context of the GIS environmental analysis could be verified. In this way, the probability and concision of the environmental analysis developed here and its particularly detailed chronological value were substantiated.

The final step of the GIS analysis is based on Voronoi diagrams of the sites mapped as prehistoric space models. They show concepts of space in time. In a cartographic reconstruction of settlement clusters, the relationship between the anthropogenically influenced agricultural area and extensive natural forest areas was visualised. These methods are a part for the predictive modeling to clarify for example the most interesting regions of the settlements in the migration period.

http://armin-volkmann-geoarchaeology.de/

Auf dem Weg zu einer digitalen Dateninfrastruktur für die Archäologie

In Deutschland und Europa wird zurzeit im Rahmen von verschiedenen Projekten an digitalen Daten-Infrastrukturen für die Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften gearbeitet. Unter diesen Projekten ist DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) eines der größeren und als Langzeitprojekt angelegt.[1] DARIAH fokussiert primär text- und geschichtswissenschaftliche Forschungen und ist aber für weitere Disziplinen offen. In diesem Rahmen wird auch eine Dateninfrastruktur für die Archäologie konzipiert. Dabei sind Kooperationen mit weiteren Infrastrukturprojekten, wie  beispielsweise IANUS am Deutschen Archäologischen Institut (DAI), ein wichtiger Baustein in der Architektur der digitalen Dateninfrastruktur für Archäologen.[2]  Aber auch die Zusammenarbeit mit CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure), einem Dateninfrastrukturprojekt, das mehr für sprachwissenschaftliche Bedürfnisse ausgerichtet ist, sollte mitberücksichtigt werden.[3] Durch die Vernetzung der einzelnen Daten-Infrastruktur-Projekte können zielgerichtet die nationalen Aktivitäten auch auf EU-Ebene harmonisiert werden. Wünschenswert wären dabei internationale Datenverbünde der Archäologie in Regionen, wie beispielsweise an der Nord- oder Ostseeküste, um Forschungen über bestehende administrative Grenzen hinweg besser zu ermöglichen. So können quantitative Studien in zusammenhängenden archäologischen Fundlandschaften erfolgen, die nicht durch administrative Grenzen beschränkt sind.

Doch was sind die spezifischen Bedürfnisse der Archäologen an eine digitale Forschungsdaten-Infrastruktur? Ist es überhaupt möglich in der sehr heterogenen Forschungslandschaft der archäologischen Wissenschaften in Deutschland eine zentralisierte Forschungsdaten-Infrastruktur umzusetzen, die akzeptiert wird? Daher erscheint es sehr wichtig gleich von Anfang an möglichst viele Partner auch schon in die Konzeption des Projektes mit einzubeziehen. Die föderale Bundesländerstruktur in Deutschland ermöglichte bisher keine Gründung eines nationalen archäologischen Datenservices, wie er z.B. in den Niederlanden oder UK existiert und die Forschungen beflügelt.[4] Die politischen Rahmenbedingungen stehen also zentralistischen Bemühungen entgegen. So könnte die dezentrale Architektur der Dateninfrastruktur eine Lösung des bestehenden Problems darstellen. Ein Forschungsverbund mit gleichberechtigten Partnern sollte sowohl die Forschungen an den Universitäten  als auch der Fundstellenarchive der Landesverwaltungen zusammenbringen und die jeweiligen Datenbestände gegenseitig zugänglich machen. In einer folgenden Erschließungsebene könnte dann der Zugang für externe Projektpartner und Datennutzer der Forschungsgemeinschaft ermöglicht werden.

Darüber hinaus entwickelt DARIAH einen Service der redundanten Datenlangzeitarchivierung mit gesicherten Datenrechten und einer abgesicherten Datenverfügbarkeit. Einen weiteren Service stellt die DARIAH Collection Registry dar, die weit verstreute, oft nur schwierig zugängliche Sammlungen zusammenbringt und damit erschließbar macht.[5] Zuletzt ist auch ein 4D-Geo-Browser entwickelt worden, der als vierte Dimension eine Zeitachse aufweist, was für geschichts- und altertumswissenschaftliche Disziplinen besonders interessant ist.[6]

 

9. Jahrestagung Arbeitskreis Geoarchäologie an der BTU Cottbus

Vom 2. bis 4. Mai 2013 findet an der BTU Cottbus die 9. Jahrestagung des Arbeitskreises Geoarchäologie statt. Die Anmeldung von Beiträgen und zur Teilnahme ist noch bis zum 1.2.2013 möglich. Anfang März 2013 wird dann das Vortragsprogramm feststehen und erscheinen. Die Region ist für Geo- und Landschaftsarchäologen besonders interessant, denn in dieser liegen die südbrandenburgischen Braunkohlentagebaue, denen einige Dörfer zum Opfer fielen. Jedoch sind die Orte und die umgebende Kulturlandschaft in den letzten Jahren intensiv untersucht worden, sodass zu diesem Themenbereich spannende Tagungsbeiträge zu erwarten sind. Des Weiteren besteht die Möglichkeit der Teilnahme an einer Exkursion in die Tagebaue, wo anhand zahlreicher Profile die Landschaftsgenese diskutiert wird.

http://www.tu-cottbus.de/fakultaet4/de/geopedologie-landschaftsentwicklung/tagungen/ak-geoarchaeologie.html

http://www.akgeoarchaeologie.de/