CAA-UK 2015: Bridging the Gap
University of Bradford
School of Archaeological Sciences
6-7th March 2015
1:00 - 2:00 Registration
2:00 - 2:20
A Long Walk: Archaeology and Remote Sensing
Professor Vince Gaffney, University of Bradford
2:30 - 2:50
Plan, Features, Sections: Using NLP to remove ambiguity from
Grey Literature
Michael Charno, Archaeology data Service
3:00 - 3:20
Exploring sustainable publication and the web: a case-study from
ARK perspective Michael Johnson, L-P : Archaeology
3:30 - 4:00
Tea & Coffee
4:00 - 4:20
Developing an integrated digital data workflow for the 100 Minories project.
John Layt, L-P : Archaeology
4:30 - 4:50
Multidisciplinary research of Iron Age sites and landscapes of Slovenia
Matija Črešnar, Branko Mušič, Dimitrij Mlekuž, University of Ljubljana
Drinks Reception @ Bradford Brewery
Saturday AM
10:00 - 10:20
Legacy Data – Open strategies for closed data.
Graeme Attwood, GSB (SUMO)
10:30 - 10:50
What have the Romans ever done for us? Digital strategies for
bridging research syntheses and fieldwork reports
Tim Evans, Archaeology Data Service
11:00 - 11:20
Geospatial Geophysics – Processing GNSS located data in python
Finnegan Pope-Carter, University of Bradford & GSB (SUMO)
11:30 - 12:00
12:00 - 12:20
CBA East Midlands Boundaries Project
Catherine Wells, Ischus Limited
12:30 - 12:50
Digitised Diseases: 3D digital documentation of bone change in cases of chronic
Andy Wilson, University of Bradford
1:00 - 2:00
1:15 - 1:45
Saturday PM
2:00 - 2:20
Unpicking the palimpsest: the role of remote sensing in interpreting
the Prehistoric landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales.
Mary K. Saunders, Hannah Brown, University of Bradford
2:30 - 2:50
Climate Change and Archaeology: How GIS can Aid Heritage Management
Lesley Davidson, AOC Archaeology
3:00 - 3:20
Developing a method for a spatial correspondence analysis
Martin Sterry, University of Leicester
3:30 - 4:00
4:00 - 4:20
Insightful Intervisibility? Or a loss of perspective?
Erin LLoyd Jones, Bangor University
4:30 - 5:00
Adventures in Agriculture: Experimental modelling for economic analysis
Helen Goodchild, University of York
A Long Walk: Archaeology and Remote Sensing
Professor Vince Gaffney
University of Bradford
“During the last 60 years, a number of highly ingenious methods for detecting and mapping otherwise invisible archaeological sites have been developed……Almost all the techniques were initially derived from methods used in geological geophysical prospecting and conventional aerial
survey, but they have grown into a separate discipline with its own specialities”
Scollar I. et al. (1990) Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing. CUP, page 2
Although Scollar et al.’s masterly work on remote sensing drew on a tradition of archaeological
prospection stretching over six decades, the 24 years following this publication has seen
prospection technologies available to archaeology develop from disparate tools generally used, if
available, for site investigation to a suite of technologies capable of wide application and frequently used for larger scale exploration. Recent change, palpably evident in the enhanced
scale and resolution of collection, capacity for storage and sophistication of analysis, places archaeological prospection at a new point of departure. For some strategic research projects
prospection data “is” the archaeology, and its significance is increasingly determined through integration with broader archaeological agendas rather than simply as a route to find “where things
are”. Indeed, the point may have been reached rather than being a “handmaiden of archaeology
archaeological prospection is achieving a formative position which, through integration with novel
mapping technologies, may drive the development of archaeology in entirely new directions. This paper will review such change and consider where future development may take
Plan, Features, Sections: Using NLP to remove ambiguity from Grey
Michael Charno
Archaeology data Service
Ever-increasing amounts of data are available within data repositories in individual institutions,
national infrastructures and international services. The EC Infrastructures funded ARIADNE project is working to bring together archaeological research data from across Europe, for use and
reuse in new research. One of the main challenges of this objective is the disparate data types
and structures archaeologists produce, and all in a variety of languages. ARIADNE is building infrastructure to bring together, manage and provide access to these datasets. The project is embracing Linked Open Data, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and deploying Web Services
and new tools to provide enhanced access to researchers.
The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) is participating in multiple elements of the ARIADNE project, including work with NLP. The ADS holds a large corpus of unstructured data in its archives,
often referred to as text. This unstructured data can be found in the Grey Literature Library, journal back runs, and within general reports, which are a typical component of any archaeological
project. As part of its role within ARIADNE, the ADS is developing tools and procedures to help
the archaeological domain better access this vast source of largely untapped digital data. This
paper will build on previous NLP work undertaken within the Archaeotools project and present
current and forthcoming NLP work within ARIADNE. Some of the issues faced by the ADS and
other partners will be presented, as well as a breakdown of the outputs and tools that will hopefully be useful to archaeologists within the UK and beyond.
Exploring sustainable publication and the web: a case-study from
ARK perspective
Michael Johnson, J. Andrew Dufton, Elizabeth Fentress
L - P : Archaeology
Within the past decade, new platforms for creating and managing archaeological data during
fieldwork have seen both widespread adoption and increasing intricacy. Although effective data
management is now a necessary component of most field projects, the lives of these complex
systems after the project has ended are less certain. Institutional concerns including basic software requirements, system upgrades, and web security can derail digital publication and result in
largely static, albeit sustainable, archives, downloadable CSV files, simple HTML pages, and, occasionally, PDFs. These formats are only one piece of the puzzle, a necessary aspect of sustainability that, when used alone, can limit the functionality of these data for future researchers. How
can we ensure the open, online publication of archaeological data while also maintaining the
complexity of original field systems? What steps can we take to address institutional concerns
while publishing information in interactive formats that facilitate later use and reuse? What is the
future for data available in older systems as software continues to develop and new approaches
become viable?
This paper considers some of these questions specifically in reference to the Archaeological Recording Kit (ARK). Developed at LP : Archaeology this software is designed to manage the complex data generated during archaeological excavations. The generated interface goes beyond
presentation in traditional formats, but the dynamic nature of the software poses many problems
for sustainability. How should these emerging issues should shape the ongoing development of
the software.
Developing an integrated digital data workflow for the 100 Minories
John Layt
L - P : Archaeology
The 100 Minories project is a commercial excavation by LP Archaeology of a site just to the north
of the Tower of London. The project has sought to integrate a number of existing digital archaeology techniques into the daily commercial archaeology work-flow using open source tools and
an on-site digital archaeologist. This includes the use of tablets, wifi-enabled digital cameras,
photogrammetry, TotalStation, and traditional written context sheets and drawn plans. A core
tenet of the project is that all data generated should be provided on-line as Open Data as soon as
is practical. The main output of this work will be a set of apps and QGIS plugins to support the
Museum of London Single Context Recording system, including the digitising of single context
plans into the project GIS and the merging of this data into the ARK online database. This talk
will demonstrate the work flow used on the 100 Minories project and the open source software
used and developed to support this, and discuss the potential cost savings, improved data quality
and community involvement that may result.
Multidisciplinary research of Iron Age sites and landscapes of
Matija Črešnar, Branko Mušič, Dimitrij Mlekuž,
University of Ljubljana
In the recent years multidisciplinary research has made an enormous step forward when it
comes to dealing with archaeological heritage in Slovenia but also throughout Europe and elsewhere. Projects including aerial imagery, lidar scanning, geophysics and beyond that, but also
integrated studies, are increasingly covering vast areas and are producing enormous amount of
data. Landscape archaeology is thus becoming one of the most fast-developing fields within archaeology, within which we can observe at least two different ways forward. One of them is
heading towards the extensive collection of data, where we are encountering deficits in thorough
data analysis, whereas the goals of the other studies are accuracy and precision when it comes
to identifying buried archaeological structures.
Although trying to understand the whole landscape in all its depth, it is easy to forget that we are
dealing with a palimpsest of imprints, which we have to be understood as separate time-slices to
open the gates to individual phases of its formation.
Taking in focus just one particular site, the hillfort Poštela near Maribor with its extensive cemeteries, every technique and analytical method used has added specific information; studied independently but even more in intertwining with others, delivering new layers of information.
We have started with aerial photography and historical analysis, added new layers of data with
lidar scanning, data on natural settings like geomorphology for instance and an array of geophysical methods integrated in a multi-method approach (GPR, magnetics, resistivity, susceptibility, low frequency EM …). However, we have always included the intermediate steps, i.e. “ground
-truthing”, where we use different methods of low invasive investigation (core-drilling, testtrenching), to guide our further steps. Not only gathering enormous amounts of data “for later
analysis”, but collecting data “cum grano salis”.
As the broader understanding of archaeological sites is the main final goal of our research we
also combine the collected data with a series of GIS analyses to explore different viewpoints of
the site and its position in the wider environment.
Other material specific analytical methods as multi-detector computed tomography for scanning
of urns, containing cremated human remains and grave goods, microscopy for the analysis of
fabric used for pottery, petrography of stone debris and soil micromorphology etc., were also
used for further in-depth investigations of specific research questions.
However, it the end it is not the sheer quantity, but the quality which matters…
Legacy Data – Open strategies for closed data
Graeme Attwood, Finnegan Pope-Carter
Archaeological geophysics surveys have been conducted by groups based in Bradford for in excess of 40 years. GSB Prospection (Part of the SUMO Group) combined with the School of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford have an archive of reports both analogue and
digital stretching back this far, many of which have been viewed by only a select few. Spurred on
by a project to catalogue the late Professor Arnold Aspinall’s project archive and a need to update GSB’s internal database and archiving systems, GSB and postgraduate students in the
school of Archaeological Sciences have embarked on a project to digitise, re-georeference and
disseminate work that can be made available in the public domain. The project is built primarily
on open source software and database systems and wherever possible will be made available to
those seeking to replicate the work we are doing.
The Open aspects of the project break down into three key tasks, these are:
Bringing historic data into a format that can be utilised on current systems.
• Batch Process historical word, CAD and data archives to ensure the contents are converted
to and stored in freely available formats. Historic archives have been lost when proprietary formats become obsolete.
• Salvage born digital data from archives only available in printed analogue formats. In salvaging archives that currently only exist in paper or legacy formats it safeguards the data for future
Ensuring the location of surveys can be easily determined from datasets
• Compare digital mapping information with project metadata to verify georeferencing information in historical CAD archives.
• If georeferencing information is incorrect automatically identify known features that correlate
with open mapping data, to position the historic local grid within the world view.
If no automated georeferencing is possible flag the site for review
Make datasets available in the most appropriate way
• Categorise surveys to determine those that are commercially sensitive and those that have
previously migrated into the public domain.
• If accurate georeferencing has been possible make data only previously available in printed
form available on a google maps type service.
• If only an approximate georeferencing has been possible add a Pin to a map linking to a web
viewable report.
• Undertake consultation to determine if the final display should contain data ‘tiers’ in order to
protect uninvestigated archaeology. The first tier being an approximate location pin with basic
survey details, leading to a final tier of fully georeferenced data and interpretive plots that can be
accessed on request.
What have the Romans ever done for us? Digital strategies for
bridging research syntheses and fieldwork reports
Tim Evans
Archaeology Data Service
The paper presents the ongoing work on the dissemination of the research data produced by the
Roman Rural Settlement of Roman Britain project; a collaborative endeavor of the University of
Reading, Cotswold Archaeology and the Archaeology Data Service. Although large-scale research syntheses incorporating the datasets and reports produced by research and commercial
fieldwork are now relatively common, this project is arguably unique in planning for online dissemination from the outset. The paper will discuss the online interface (due for release in April
2015 in tandem with the traditional hard-copy monograph), which combines a database/ Web
Mapping front-end, with digital versions of the unpublished reports identified by the research
team; thus allowing the capacity for broad or detailed interrogations of these grey reports on detailed thematic and methodological criteria that was previously achievable. In addition the paper
will also discuss the lessons learned from planning and building a model for simultaneous paper
and digital publication during the lifetime of a project, particularly the respective merits of Web
Mapping technologies, but also a noticeable shift in attitudes towards the free dissemination of
data by the community as a whole.
Finally, the paper also looks to the possibilities and challenges for incorporating the results of future fieldwork into such academic syntheses. It is suggested that by using online technologies, it
should be possible to move away from the recent, yet essential, trend of retrospective syntheses
of decades of unpublished and sometimes amorphous backlogs, towards a model that allows the
participation of commercial units, community groups, researchers and curators in identifying and
contributing to specific research themes. Thus offering the potential for a more holistic yet immediate culture of research.
Geospatial Geophysics: Processing GNSS located data in python
Finnegan Pope-Carter
GSB (SUMO) & University of Bradford
Geophysical data collection is increasingly moving from Grid based data collection to Real Time
GNSS Located systems. While a number of commercial and proprietary systems exist for collecting such data few commercial geophysics softwares exist to facilitate the processing of such
Python is a human readable Open Source programming language with bindings and modules
available for nearly all standard geospatial data types. Some of these are available through Open
Source GIS packages such as QGIS however the majority are more powerful and extensible
when utilised directly through Python.
This talk will initially discuss some of the widely available modules available for processing and
manipulating and presenting geospatial data. These include:
We will then introduce work being done at the University of Bradford and GSB SUMO to build a
python package for the processing of geophysical datasets. This includes:
•Manipulating GNSS NMEA Strings
•Projection of GNSS Data
•Image Processing
CBA East Midlands Boundaries Project
Catherine Wells
Ischus Limited
CBA-EM is the Council for British Archaeology local group for the East Midlands. Covering five
counties (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and Rutland) since the
1940s, we are an educational charity working to enable the public to be involved with archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for the benefit of the
present and future generations. We achieve this by holding events, such as several day conferences during the winter months and visits to sites of interest during the summer.
In recent years we have been investigating the possibility for a more active involvement of CBAEM in an archaeological project, though not something that would generate a large finds based
archive. After much thought, discussion and canvassing of our members, the result is the
Boundaries Project.
The English countryside is a multi-layered patchwork on which each generation has left its mark
and this forms the basis of the project. We intend to discover more about the countryside by looking at the ancient boundaries that define it. Ancient boundaries, marked by a vast variety of walls,
ditches, banks, hedges and trees, were important and defined the landscape for centuries, some
dating back into prehistory, and by studying them we intend to add a systematic record of the
patterns of their individual elements to the knowledge we have of the past. Volunteers will start
looking at parish boundaries marked on historic maps and then go out and record their form and
condition to create a 21st century domesday GIS record with linked drawings and photographs.
A CBE-EM sub committee was tasked with defining the data to be collected and designing the
method by which it would be recorded and stored. Archaeological, historical, administrative, and
computer related experience and skills were provided by relevant expert members of the sub
committee. We conducted a pilot study during 2014 and are intending to launch the project at our
AGM in March.
This paper will outline the project, the technical aspects and the software development involved
in achieving its realisation, along with lessons learned in the pilot study and planned future development.
Digitised Diseases: 3D digital documentation of bone change in
cases of chronic disease
Andrew S. Wilson, Tom Sparrow, Andrew Holland, Becky Storm, Emma L. Brown,
Pawel Eliasz, David Keenan, Carina Phillips, Natasha Powers, Jo Buckberry, Chris
Gaffney, Hassan Ugail, Keith Manchester
University of Bradford
This talk reviews ‘Digitised Diseases’, an important legacy project based at the University of
Bradford which received funds from Jisc’s mass digitisation programme and was partnered with
the Royal College of Surgeons of England and MOLA. The project used 3D digital documentation
to record examples of chronic diseases manifest in the human skeleton. From the outset we had
to design a hierarchical classification structure that was comprehensible to both clinicians and
palaeopathologists, recognising that this would serve as an important framework for presenting
our 3D content. We created photo-realistic 3D digital models of type specimens of diseased bone
from archaeological and historical medical collections in Bradford, London and York. These models are now available as an open access resource that enables users to view and manipulate
models online and also download higher resolution textured models for use with freely available
viewers on a range of platforms. From the outset we used regular project bulletins via a range of
social media to target potential users from the bioarchaeological community, with considerable
global interest. We continue to update this resource which went live in December 2013. Usage
now exceeds initial expectations with users in medicine, anatomy and the medical humanities as
well as amongst the general public coming from over 125 different countries.
Unpicking the palimpsest: the role of remote sensing in interpreting
the Prehistoric landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales.
Mary K. Saunders, Hannah Brown
University of Bradford
As datasets resulting from LiDAR surveys, low-level aerial photography, aerial photographic transcriptions and geophysical survey become more widely available, the volume of information
available to landscape archaeologists has increased exponentially and in conjunction with GIS,
this allows far more robust analyses to be undertaken and interpretations to be made. However,
as data volumes increase and standard or default methods are applied to processing and in
some cases interpretation, it is easy forget that we are dealing with archaeology and the physical
manifestations of human endeavour in the past.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park encompasses some 1770 Km2, with much of the area covered by extant field systems and other Prehistoric features. Although these were investigated in
the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was not until the late 1980s that the extent and contiguousness of the remains became evident, with the completion of the Yorkshire Dales Mapping
Project. A precursor to the National Mapping Programme, this work involved the transcription of
many thousands of aerial photographs, effectively producing a map of the archaeological resource in this region. Recent work has involved the vectorisation and categorisation of the 1988
aerial transcriptions, allowing this original data to be interrogated in a far more analytical manner
within a GIS, while working within this framework has also permitted the direct comparison with
other material such as LiDAR data, low level aerial imagery and the results of geophysical survey.
This paper will demonstrate how, by using both small and large scale survey datasets and a
combination of computer based analysis and human interrogation, it has been possible to formulate, test and extrapolate archaeological hypotheses for this area, allowing us to begin to understand the development of the Yorkshire Dales landscape over several thousands of years of Prehistory.
Climate Change and Archaeology: How GIS can Aid
Heritage Management
Lesley Davidson
AOC Archaeology
Global climate models show that the UK is likely to be significantly affected by climate change in
the future (Jenkins et al 2009, p9). The rate at which this change is occurring and the likely predicted affects are causes for concern amongst heritage professionals. The predicted impacts include extreme weather events such as intense rainfall and summer drought leading to flooding,
erosion, and drying and cracking of soil. All of these events are believed to place increased pressure on the integrity of the archaeological resource (English Heritage 2008). In addition due to
the inertia of the climate system, it is likely that these changes will be unavoidable, irrespective of
how much emissions are lowered in the future (Jenkins et al 2009, p9), and as such we should
adopt a strategy in the heritage sector, which consider these pressures placed on nationally important monuments.
The management of the archaeological resource has been a key consideration within British archaeology for the last twenty years and since the establishment of PPG16 in the 1990s, the preference for the preservation in-situ of nationally important archaeological remains has been forwarded. However, the effects of climate change are likely to lead to the degradation of this already fragmented archaeological resource. While there has been some investigation into the condition of archaeological monuments in the UK, as examined by the Monuments at Risk Survey,
we also need to identify those monuments that are at the greatest risk from climate change and
are therefore likely in need of urgent action.
This poster aims to demonstrate how the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can
provide a valuable toolkit to assess the vulnerability of the archaeological landscape to the impacts of climate change. A Multi-Criteria Analysis will be conducted in a GIS using datasets such
as topographic and flood data in order to produce a ranking by vulnerability of heritage assets.
This will be achieved through the use of weighted overlays and zonal statistics, the results of
which will enable heritage professionals to make informed decision in terms of allocating resources to protect the historic environment.
English Heritage. (2008). Climate Change and the Historic Environment. English Heritage Publications.
Jenkins, G. J., Murphy, J. M., Sexton, D. M. H., Lowe, J. A., Jones, P. and Kilsby, C. G. (2009)
UK Climate Projections: Briefing report. Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK.
Developing a method for a spatial correspondence analysis
Martin Sterry
University of Leicester
Multivariate analyses, in particular correspondence analysis, (CA) have become a standard exploratory tool for analysing and interpreting variance in archaeological assemblages. Notable examples include those involving artefacts (e.g. Cool and Baxter 1999; Pitts 2010), archaeobotanical assemblages (van der Veen 2007) and faunal assemblages (Manning et al. 2013). Although it
has been noted that CA “might be of considerable relevance to spatial analysis” (Wheatley and
Gillings 2002: 146), as yet there has been no truly successful integration. This makes it difficult to
isolate spatial influences on assemblage composition from the CA scatterplots (except through
pre-determined regionalisations) even though these may be of equal or greater importance to
other determinants such as, cultural, socio-economic and temporal aspects.
This paper will present a novel method for visualising CA in ArcGIS by transforming the resultant
scatter graphs of the CA into colour maps within which the similarity and difference between assemblages directly corresponds to the similarity and difference of the colours used to display
them. Utilising a dataset of faunal assemblages from Late Iron Age to Late Roman central England, the paper will demonstrate how the method is applied and how it can be used to draw out
spatial and temporal trends of different animal husbandry strategies. Further, the paper will explore the potential of this analysis for using the data to define past zones (and how they change
over time).
Insightful Intervisibility? Or a loss of perspective?
Erin Lloyd Jones
Bangor University
The use of Geographical Information Systems has been increasingly incorporated into the study
of landscape archaeology over the last few decades. With this development, the use of viewshed
analysis has encountered increased use in interpretation of monuments and the historic landscape. Research into groups of similar monuments in the landscape has been subject to intervisibility analysis, such as clusters of Bronze Age burial chambers, Roman towers and Iron Age hillforts.
Intervisibility studies inevitably suggest that similar monuments are intervisible with one another
within a landscape which, proven contemporary or not, can suggest of awareness of each other,
much as we are aware of the monuments in the landscape today. However, additional suggestions have been made that the intervisibility of monuments can suggest deliberate choice of location for their establishment and wider connections.
This paper will discuss research into a group of hillforts in north east Wales and the English borderlands. Viewshed analysis has been implemented on both the hills the monuments sit upon
and nearby hills which were not chosen as hillfort sites. This will establish whether intervisibility of
hillforts, for example, can be simply explained by the intervisibility of hills and high points in general or whether intervisible hills were a key factor for hillfort site location in the later prehistoric
period. The results will determine whether the use of intervisibility studies in archaeology can present valid insight into the study of monuments in the landscape, or whether coincidence is key.
Adventures in Agriculture: Experimental modelling for economic
Helen Goodchild
University of York
The modelling of agriculture is a complex discipline, and it is therefore not surprising that the multitude of techniques currently applied to modern, very detailed datasets, have not been explored
in more depth in terms of their applicability to the past. Methods such as Ecological Niche Modelling, Agro-Ecological Zoning, Habitat Suitability Modelling, and more, reflect the diversity of approach taken by geographers to either measure or predict human productive output.
This paper will present some recent experiments (some successful, some not-so successful) in
applying modern agronomic and climate modelling techniques, and discuss the potentials and
limitations of using these methods to investigate economic strategies in relation to agricultural
and pastoral practices in the past.
Friday 5:30PM
Drinks Reception @ Bradford Brewery