previous chapter
Computing for Archaeologists
next chapter


Computing for Archaeologists

Harrison Eiteljorg, II

Archaeology1 is the study of history as written not with ink on paper but with the debris of human activity found where it fell. Whereas historians read the written records of our ancestors, archaeologists read the material record, either to augment the historic one or to reconstruct prehistory when there is no written record. As with the historic record, the archaeological record is often prejudiced by accidental survival, biased sources, and skewed representations of certain materials. Of course, both historic and material records from the past may carry inadvertent meaning. When Shelley's Ozymandias cried out, "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" he, as have many figures from the past, sent an ironic and unintended message.

The archaeologist's work is, first, to find the material remains of our ancestors, second, to unearth those remains in ways that maximize the information they can convey, and, finally, to interpret the evidence. Finding those remains may be done by excavation or surface survey, but both processes require the destruction of the very evidence that is the first fruit of the work. In some cases, the destruction is literal and complete, as when an archaeologist must dig through one level of a site to find another; often the destruction is not so complete but involves the removal of objects from their physical contexts. Since contexts provide crucial clues to both physical and temporal relationships, evidence is lost even by removing objects. The destructive nature of the work demands extraordinarily careful record keeping to avoid accidental information loss. Indeed, it can be argued that record keeping is the real occupation of the field archaeologist.

The interpretative process requires careful examination of the records of excavation or survey; the contexts of the objects are as important to a full understanding as the objects themselves. For instance, a figurine found in the remains of a tomb later covered by a house must have been deposited before the construction of the house and before the deposit of anything in that house. On the other hand, a potsherd found in the bottom of a trash pit must have been deposited at roughly the time the pit was dug, which may have been long after the deposit of flint tools located near the potsherd but not in the trash pit.

The importance of context to the archaeologist highlights the importance of good records. Records of both the archaeological contexts and the artifacts, not to mention a great many other aspects of an excavation or survey, provide the keys to analyses. Those records are truly crucial, and the potential utility of the computer for that record keeping is obvious today. Less obvious is the fact that, if computers are used to record the basic information on which archaeologists build their understanding of the past, all practitioners must ultimately be able to use computers to retrieve that information. That is, computers and computer skills will be needed by all archaeologists if a substantial portion of the archaeological record is maintained in computer form.

It is now obvious that computers are ideal for record keeping, but when archaeologists first started using computers, in the late 1950s, computers were arcane and foreign. Their record-keeping potential could not then be utilized by academics because of costs and access limits; affordable microcomputers lay well in the future. Data entry required punchcards or tape, and results were only available on paper. As a natural result, computers were used for tasks that required considerable processing power, not routine data storage. Early uses therefore tended to be for statistical processing, and, though statistics had been used in archaeology for decades, more statistical procedures and more mathematically complex statistical procedures could be performed with computers.

During these early years of computer usage in archaeology, archaeologists had to learn computer languages in order to prepare data for processing and then to carry out the statistical processes. That made the use of computers less likely to penetrate deeply into the field. Nevertheless, some saw even in the late 1960s the enormous potential for computers to store large quantities of information for retrieval from what were then called databanks.

By the early 1970s, there had already been some conferences on archaeological computing, and the microcomputer revolution began later in that decade, though the first microcomputers did not have the advantage of the IBM name. One of the most important things the early microcomputers did have was the database management system, dBase. That program and its many offspring have had an enormous impact on archaeology because of their record-keeping potential. Database management programs make it possible to manage large datasets without first learning to write long and complex computer programs (though the need to write routines for specific operations remains).

The database software of the mid-1970s and after brought the promise of efficient record keeping, and the new capabilities were desperately needed as excavators were then expanding the quantity of material collected. For instance, studies of plant and animal remains in the archaeological record (to understand food sources and the surrounding ecosystem) required sifting through large quantities of earth to find seeds and bones that could only be interpreted with statistical analyses; such work cried out for sophisticated data-handling techniques. Similarly, more careful and conscientious attention to small finds and fragmentary evidence could only become common with the advent of better recording techniques. It goes without saying that the recording of all these data would have been of little use had the programs not also made the retrieval of information – in an incredibly wide variety of forms – more efficient and flexible.

Microcomputers – with relatively easy-to-use software – arrived just as those needs for more sophisticated data handling were being felt. As a result, database technology seemed to many a godsend. That is not to say that all archaeologists immediately began using computers and databases, or even that all have adopted them today, but the need for assistance with ever-more-voluminous records and the availability of sophisticated computer programs fed on one another. Archaeologists who were eager to deal with seeds, shells, bones, and small, fragmentary finds could do so, and the fact that they could record so much information with the aid of computers encouraged them to treat that level of record keeping as standard. That pushed others to attend to similar levels of detail and, of necessity, to turn to computers to help. The process is continuing, with new technologies being regularly added to the tool kit.

The acceleration of computer use is ongoing, and the extent to which the quantity of recorded data may overwhelm the scholar's ability to synthesize is a matter of some debate. Until archaeologists can dispassionately evaluate the utility of different approaches to data collection, there is a natural tendency to record more, whether or not all the information is useful.

The growth of computer use spawned the organization called Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). It began with a small meeting at the University of Birmingham (England) in 1973 and has grown to an international organization with annual meetings in various cities in Europe. In December 1984 the Archaeological Computing Newsletter was launched to report on information about archaeological computing, and by the mid-1980s established professional archaeology organizations featured regular sessions about one or another aspect of computing at their annual meetings.

The early and lasting interest in databases stemmed not only from the need to control huge quantities of excavation data but also from the hope that data storehouses could be used by scholars to retrieve and analyze information from related excavations, thus permitting broader syntheses. Indeed, many archaeologists still hope for such aggregations of data. While that giant data warehouse has been seen by many as the pot at the end of the rainbow, those most intimately familiar with the technology have, from the beginning, seen aggregated databases as a far more distant goal at best. Even archaeologists working in the same cultural and geographic areas do not – and cannot – excavate, survey, record their results, or use terms in precisely the same ways. As a result, combining data from multiple projects remains an illusive goal. Efforts to impose standardization have met with little success, and even such a carefully crafted and unthreatening potential aid as the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus has not been noticeably helpful in bringing the scholars in the field into terminological uniformity for a single language, much less across languages.

The difficulties with common terms and data structures have been exacerbated by the divergence between the needs of the archaeological community and those of museum professionals. Archaeologists and the museum curators who ultimately receive the excavated artifacts record their information about those artifacts in strikingly different arrangements, the one beginning with excavation context and the other with either a cultural classification or an object-based classification system. As a result, the databases of the two groups are organized differently, making large-scale cooperation problematic.

Large-scale constructed datasets such as the collection of information about archaeological sites in Turkey (The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey website online at <>) are less ambitious than the enormous, automatic aggregations once anticipated, but they are now becoming more common and often prove to be remarkably useful. Another good example of such constructed databases is the National Archeological Database of US public archaeological sites (online at <>) developed by the National Park Service and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas (CAST, <>). Websites that serve as gateways to information, for instance, ARGE, the Archaeological Guide to Europe (<>), have also proved to be very valuable, and a recent project, called OASIS (<>), which makes possible timely access to information about archaeological projects throughout Britain, is an excellent example of real benefits for scholars by providing access to disparate data through a common central point but without imposing unrealistic new standards.

Combining disparate datasets may not be a realistic near-term goal, but preserving datasets for future access is a necessity now. There are active digital repositories now available to archaeologists for the long-term preservation of their data files, and preservation of digital data is a major responsibility. The recovered artifacts and the data about them are the only surviving evidence of fieldwork. Neither is fully meaningful without the other. It may also be argued that economic development will result in fewer possibilities for excavation and field survey, making excavations in museum basements and old records the archaeology of the future.

There is a serious problem with the expansion of data quantity and the consequently increasing use of databases. When archaeologists use computers to view data rather than spending time with the objects themselves, they risk losing the familiarity with the objects that can only come from sustained, intimate, physical contact.

Databases were recognized as valuable tools quickly; so were graphical applications. Early graphics programs could only generate printed output – and slowly, very slowly. Nevertheless, maps and drawings have been so integral to the record keeping of the discipline that the development of graphics aids was an obvious necessity. The earliest graphics products were maps, but there were also programs developed before the end of the 1970s for drawing plans and sections. The early programs, often written by scholars, replicated many of the hand-drawing processes, and the drawings – the physical products – were the desired results; the underlying computer data simply represented a means to an end.

Programs were written by scholars to create maps, and even digital terrain models (draped grids illustrating the undulations of terrain) could be created from survey data before the advent of the personal computer. Maps were simply drawings, but powerful mapping software providing other sophisticated features was developed for other disciplines; that software, called geographic information system (GIS) programs, has been eagerly used by archaeologists, starting in the mid-1980s. For these programs the underlying data are far more important than any particular drawing.

GIS programs combine maps and data about maps in ways that bring significant benefits to archaeology. The data about the maps are of two kinds, standard relational data tables (with information about artifacts, flora, fauna, etc.) linked to areas or points on maps, and information derived from map data, such as the steepness of the grade in a given area (from contour lines or point-source elevation data). The crucial benefit of GIS is the connection between bounded portions or individual points on a map and data about them – and the ability to analyze the data according to any of the available criteria. The resulting ability to analyze material remains in concert with the physical environment is extremely powerful.

Vector-based maps rely upon stored data points and are only scaled when output to a screen or paper; as a result the precision of coordinates available from a vector-based map is limited only by the survey technology that produced the data points. On the other hand, raster-based maps are scaled drawings, and a given map may be at virtually any scale. Issues of scale and precision may thus become very complex, and using together maps with differing scales, precision, and levels of generalization (e.g., how many survey points define a river course or a coastline?) can yield very misleading results. These issues of scale, precision, and generalization with GIS make it necessary that users of GIS data be sophisticated and self-conscious in their use of maps and the data connected to them.

The use of GIS has been aided in archaeology, as in other disciplines, by the fact that GIS data – maps and data files – can be created for one use/user and re-used by many others. Archaeologists may use GIS maps created by and for others, e.g., digital elevation maps made for the military, in addition to maps and data tables of their own. This is not an unmixed blessing, however, since available data – whether maps or data tables – may determine the questions asked or, more worrisome, the ones not asked.

GIS software is the graphics road taken for mapping. The other graphics road, taken for plans and other record drawings, is computer-assisted design (CAD) software. The advent of CAD programs for personal computers brought significant and almost immediate change to record keeping for many archaeologists. Although CAD programs were created to assist with design processes, it was a short step to see their utility for modeling the existing world and existing structures; archaeologists began to use them in the mid-1980s.

Many archaeologists initially used CAD programs as drafting aids only, treating the computer-generated drawing as the final product. Plans and elevations can be generated at various scales and with differing emphases without time-consuming redrafting2. However, dimensional information can be retrieved from the CAD file at original measurement precision, unaffected by drawing scale, and the computer data can be segmented so that specific phases or other selections from the entire digital file can be included or excluded in any specific drawing. As a result, CAD data eventually came to be recognized as more full and complex than any individual drawing.

The larger promise of CAD lay in its ability to record three-dimensionally and to generate drawings based on the full 3-D geometry of a site or structure. As database technology made it possible to record the added information that archaeologists were unearthing in the 1960s and 1970s, CAD made it possible for archaeologists to record 3-D information easily and with the precision of the original field measurements. Fortunately, advanced surveying equipment, particularly the total station and, to a lesser extent, desktop photogrammetry, made the gathering of 3-D data far easier. The 3-D capabilities of CAD and advanced surveying instruments have led to very complex 3-D models as archaeological records. The models record the full geometry, and all dimensions can be retrieved at surveyed precision. The 3-D models can also be segmented to permit any on-screen view or paper drawing to include or exclude parts of the whole according to the needs of the moment.

Scholars conceive of CAD models of structures in two quite different ways. For some, the CAD model is the kind of record that a drawing once was – containing all the dimensional and geometric information known from surveying. For others the model is the starting point for reconstructing missing parts or phases, for making realistic images, or for envisioning larger ensembles, cityscapes, or landscapes. Those intending to reconstruct, illustrate, or envision the past may not need an exact record of existing conditions. As a result, two approaches to CAD modeling – one based on record-keeping practices and the other less concerned with precise dimensions – have been common. In general, archaeologists have been more likely to use CAD as a record-keeping technology, since their approach to data gathering emphasizes such recording. Archaeologists and architectural historians dealing with older and less complete structures have often used CAD for precise records as well.

Archaeologists using CAD models principally for reconstructing, illustrating, or envisioning the past have worried less about precise dimensions and more about appearances. Buildings or larger ensembles imagined with the aid of the computer and with simpler, idealized dimensions are much easier and less expensive to make and can be presented in ways that are extremely compelling. However, using CAD as an aid to illustrate reconstructed realities nearly always involves subsidiary technologies, usually rendering programs or virtual reality programs that use CAD models as their starting points.

Reconstructions based on CAD data – even idealized and simplified CAD data – have one very important benefit over hand-drawn reconstructions: they must be based on fitting geometric shapes to one another. Therefore, CAD models are limited by the rules of geometry. A CAD program will only generate a reconstructed view based on the rules of geometry, not the hopes or dreams of a scholar.

Computer reconstructions can be truly photorealistic, providing believably real images. That has drawbacks as well as obvious benefits. The photorealistic views generally omit the inevitable irregularities of real structures, dirt and grime, marks of age and deterioration, nearby vegetation, and so on. The surrounding structures must often be omitted as well – or be included as if they were fully known when they are not – or be shown only as featureless blocks. Standing alone or in a generalized context, an ancient structure looks unnatural; placed in a hypothetical context it provides a sense of reality that exceeds our knowledge. The root problem here is not with the computer but with the necessarily partial state of our knowledge.

Virtual reality (VR) systems based on CAD models promise realistic visions of computer worlds through which users may navigate. However, they face similar problems of inadequate data. A new hybrid system provides reconstructions that are visible in glasses through which the actual remains can be seen at the same time. This promises a better marriage of the real and the reconstructed, but the technology has yet to be proved in actual use.

VR and generalized models permit serious examination of larger settings. Both VR worlds and very generalized models can provide information about landscapes, urban scale, open spaces, communication arteries, and other aspects of both the natural and the constructed world.

Archaeologists have used CAD, GIS, and databases primarily for data recording. In fact, that is the most important benefit the computer has brought to archaeology – the ability to manage more data more effectively. Of course, managing the data effectively implies accessing the data effectively as well. Databases, CAD models, and GIS programs all provide many ways to retrieve information, to analyze, to ask questions of the data, and to understand better what has been found and the relationships between and among those finds. That retrieval, of course, requires some computer skill.

There are concerns unique to archaeology that complicate the use of all these technologies. For example, terminology issues greatly complicate the potential to share data with all these technologies, as already mentioned regarding databases. In addition, the ways archaeologists apply CAD and GIS technologies to data recording are quite different from the ways the software developers expected. Standards designed by the developers do not generally suffice for scholarly users, and the development of scholarly standards has been slow and ill-focused. The Archaeology Data Service in England has been especially helpful in this area, producing guides to good practice for scholars.

Much early archaeological computing required scholars to write their own programs, but that is no longer necessary. Most now use commercial software, although special archaeological problems such as certain statistical procedures and seriation routines continue to inspire programming by archaeologists. Another area in which programming has remained a necessity is that of simulation. Using computers to simulate development in relatively simple societies was considered a very promising technique as early as the 1960s, but, as the popularity of the "new archaeology" waned, so did the enthusiasm for simulation. Those interested in simulation today are more likely to use GIS, CAD, or statistics and to compare various predefined scenarios to test possible explanations of development, than to use simulation algorithms or artificial intelligence algorithms, which have seen little use in archaeology.

The use of commercial software has made it easier for scholars to work cooperatively on data, since many can access the same data files – whether data tables, CAD models, or GIS datasets – for data entry, examination, or analysis. The potential to share digital files over the Internet, of course, has made collaboration even easier and more common. In some cases, excavators have entered data into on-site database systems connected to the Internet so that the data can be accessed almost immediately after being entered.

The value of the Internet for communications is easily missed in a discussion of technology; it seems too obvious and pervasive to need mentioning. In archaeology, however, colleagues are routinely working together on projects while living on different continents. Simple e-mail can be crucial in such cases. For communicating to a wider audience, of course, use of the Web has already changed the extent to which scholars can and will offer their information to the public.

Computers have also aided archaeologists' use of photographs. Photographs of buildings, sites, features, and objects are central to the practice of archaeology, and digital imagery has not changed that. However, it has made possible the use of color for a much greater portion of the photographs – not in printed publications but over the Internet where the cost of a color photo is not noticeably different from the cost of a black-and-white photo. (In printed publications the problem remains. Small print runs make color prohibitively expensive.) The value of color is greater than one might imagine; scholars need to see colors accurately if they are fully to grasp the appearance of a structure or object. In particular, ceramic analysis demands careful attention to colors, but it is much too expensive to print color photos of the sherds that make up such a large portion of the recovered material from an archaeological project.

Digital imagery has also brought better, less time-consuming, and less expensive enhancements of photographs. Such enhancements aid in interpreting satellite images or the stratigraphy represented in a trench wall by subtly changing colors. In at least one instance, photographs of faded and damaged fragments of frescoes were digitally enhanced to aid the restoration work, and satellite photographs of the Near East have been used to locate ancient roadways that seemed to have left no evidence on the landscape.

Only recently coming into use has been photography/digitizing that includes a 3-D modeling component so that photographs and 3-D digitizers can be used to provide 3-D geometry of objects as well as color and tone. Objects can be modeled with these techniques so that scholars can see – and rotate and measure – fully 3-D representations of objects on a computer. While still too expensive for general use, these processes provide unprecedented access to objects without risk of damage, although they also remove the scholars from the objects themselves.

Sharing digital data over the Internet may be important for archaeologists, but scholarly electronic publication – over the Internet or on CDs – has not met the predictions of its early supporters. Some web-based monographs have appeared, as have some publications on CDs, and Internet Archaeology has been extraordinarily innovative in putting complex digital data on the Web as journal "articles." Sadly, very few of the electronic monographs seem to offer real permanence. CDs have a lifespan that can probably be measured in years, not decades, and too many websites are ephemeral. Thus, too few electronic publications provide the permanence required. Probably more important, electronic publication still does not normally carry the value of paper publication when advancement or promotion is considered.

Although electronic monographs may not become common, web-delivered journals such as Internet Archaeology and supplements to printed articles, as pioneered by the American Journal of Archaeology, promise to bring more digital information to more archaeologists. That is not sufficient, however, because archaeology desperately needs the potential offered by electronic publication. The volume of material collected in the course of a project simply cannot be presented in a book or even a multi-volume series. Indeed, the use of databases, CAD models, and GIS programs creates a concomitant need to "publish" databases, CAD models, and GIS datasets – which can only be done digitally. Since electronic publication in the sense of a single, unified item that can be called the publication of a project now seems unlikely, and since there must be ways for archaeologists to obtain the electronic data along with the analyses, syntheses, and other expository texts that combine to make the record of a project, the future seems to lie in hybrid publications involving either printed or web-served text coupled with permanent access to the digital files that are the basic record of the project. Archival repositories for those files are required as part of this approach, and they are necessary anyway, as mentioned previously, to preserve the original data. There have been some successful repositories, most notably the Archaeology Data Service in the United Kingdom. At the same time, however, there is not a universally understood responsibility on the part of all archaeologists to prepare digital material for such repositories – not a trivial task – and then to make the actual deposit; nor have funding agencies generally recognized the importance of the long-term preservation of digital data3. Therefore, hybrid publications – text plus access to digital files – remain uncommon.

Should the day come when hybrid publications are common, a major obstacle remains. Despite the importance of computers and computing to archaeology, too few scholars are being trained in the use of computers. Scholars have bemoaned the problem for more than 15 years (see Richards 1985; Eiteljorg 2001), but there remains a divide between those who understand the computer technologies required for the discipline and those who do not. The divide is not a matter of age but of education; young scholars are not required to learn computer skills in graduate programs. In addition, young scholars who seem computer-savvy often lack precisely the skills most needed for archaeological computing – skills with database design, CAD programs, and GIS. Although it is now a given that any archaeology project will involve the use of computers, it is not a given that the project directors will know how to use them well or have the requisite skills to find helpers who do. Nor is it a given that the archaeologists of the future will be able to use the digital data created in the field today. Unfortunately, those who are adept with the technologies must often be self-taught, although these technologies are better learned from experts who understand the problems and pitfalls that are likely to be encountered. This problem of untrained or self-taught users of computer technology is not widely recognized or acknowledged in the field of archaeology at large, at least in part because archaeologists have not realized that all archaeologists need at least to be able to retrieve digital data from computer databases, CAD models, or GIS datasets. The absence of formal training represents a serious impediment both to effective application of computer technology and to the reuse of the digital data already gathered in computer form.

Despite the many changes computers have brought to archaeology, the transformation from paper-based to digital recording is still incomplete. The discipline at large has not fully absorbed the need to preserve access to digital data for future scholars. It has not yet found an effective and relatively standard way to present digital data as part of a final publication. Its educational institutions have not accepted the need to prepare all archaeologists in the use of those computer technologies necessary in the field and the laboratory. In part, these problems reflect the nature of the discipline, a uniquely fragmented one consisting of practitioners who may have begun as historians, art historians, students of ancient languages, or anthropologists – but not as scientists dependent upon a tradition of prompt and full data sharing. The problems also reflect the unique independence of archaeologists, who must have a strong entrepreneurial spirit in order to fund and operate complex projects. To the extent that these problems will be solved, as they surely will, it is likely that centralized initiatives such as the Archaeology Data Service in England will be crucial to the process. Other countries are pursuing similar avenues, but the more decentralized United States may find a voice in the process only through individual institutions seeking practical standards as a matter of sheer necessity.

See also chapter 15: Databases.


1 Archaeology as a discipline may be seen as monolithic, and archaeologists may be expected to know about the archaeology of any cultural or geographic area. In fact, however, archaeologists specialize very early in their educational careers, and areas of specialization can be remarkably narrow. Consequently, readers should be forewarned that the author may not be aware of developments far from his archaeological ken.

2 Other programs can produce drawings at various scales and may seem to have the necessary virtues of CAD, but the use of 3-D Cartesian grid systems as the core for data storage makes CAD more than a drafting aid.

3 Despite the obvious need for archiving archaeological information, archival preservation of paper records has not been routine. Thus, the situation with digital data can be seen as a continuation of sadly normal archaeological practices.

References for Further Reading

Allen, Kathleen M. S., W. Green Standton, and Ezra B. W. Zubrow, (eds.) (1990). Interpreting Space: CIS and Archaeology. London, New York, Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis.

Badler, Norman and Virginia R. Badler (1977). SITE: A Color Computer Graphics System for the Display of Archaeological Sites and Artifacts. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Moore School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Computer and Information Science.

Binford, Sally R. and Binford, Lewis R., (eds.) (1968). New Perspectives in Archeology. Chicago: Aldine.

Duncan, J. M. and P. L. Main (1977). The Drawing of Archaeological Sections and Plans by Computer. Science and Archaeology 20: 17–26.

Eiteljorg, H., II (2001). Computing in the Archaeological Curriculum. CSA Newsletter 14, 2. Available at:

Richards, J. D. (1985). Training Archaeologists to Use Computers. Archaeological Computing Newsletter 2: 2–5.

Richards, J. D. and N. S. Ryan, (eds.) (1985). Data Processing in Archaeology (from the series Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sabloff, Jeremy A., (ed.) (1981). Simulations in Archaeology. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Upham, Steadman, (ed.) (1979). Computer Graphics in Archaeology: Statistical Cartographic Applications to Spatial Analysis in Archaeological Contexts (Anthropological Research Papers no. 15). Tempe: Arizona State University.

The following contain numerous articles concerning archaeological computing and should be consulted broadly:

Annual proceedings of the meetings on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology beginning in 1973 (published for that one year only as Science in Archaeology, 9).

Archaeological Computing Newsletter (tables of contents from number 45 (Spring 1996) onward may be found at <>. The Archaeological Computing Newsletter will be published by Archeologia & Calcolatone from the end of 2004.

CSA Newsletter (All issues beginning with volume 8 are available on the Web, <>; volumes 13 and following are only available on the Web.)

Selected Websites

<> – the website for the excavations at Çatalhöyük, Turkey, where modern technology has not only been extensively used but discussed and debated.

<> – information about the site Teotihuacan, a site that has benefited from extensive use of computer technology and at which computers have been used for a very long time.

<> – should be used in concert with the publication by James Packer (1997), The Forum of Trajan in Rome (Berkeley: University of California Press), for an example of an architectural historian using both traditional and computer methods.> – the Archaeology Data Service in England (and <> for the ADS Guides to Good Practice and <> for a different version of the CAD Guide to Good Practice).

<> – online journal, Internet Archaeology.

<> - CSA Propylaea Project, still in early stages, to construct a stone-by-stone CAD model of the Propylaea. Discussions of methods, but only the CAD model of the predecessor is available.

<> – excavations at Lahav, Israel, with discussion of data collection methods and computer use in the field.

<> – Amiens cathedral project at Columbia University, with extensive imagery showing the illustrative power of CAD and rendering tools.

<> – Savannah urban design/history/development project of the Savannah College of Art and Design, still in early stages. Only Windows users need apply, alas.

<> – a study of hill forts in France with effective use of GIS technology.

<> – the Corinth Computer Project at the University of Pennsylvania.

<> – the Digital Archive Network for Anthropology at North Dakota State University, a project involving the use of 3-D models of archaeological objects that may be examined on the Web.

previous chapter
Computing for Archaeologists
next chapter