Archaeological Survey and Geomatics

Module code: AR2028

  • Why is accurate surveying critical to archaeological fieldwork?
  • What is geomatics?
  • What are the key surveying techniques used by archaeologists and what types of data do they yield?
  • How do we apply these techniques in practice?
  • How do we select and apply the appropriate survey techniques, in a problem-oriented fashion, in the context of an ongoing archaeological research project?
  • What’s the future for high definition survey and how does this relate to virtual and augmented realities 

In this module we will look at the main surveying techniques in current use within archaeology. Through a combination of detailed lectures and regular practical sessions, we will explore the full range of techniques, from tapes and compasses, total-stations, GPS, through to 3D laser scanning and digital photogrammetry together with their application in archaeology.

Practical work is an important part of this module, with regular practical sessions, the opportunity to develop new software skills, and a dedicated survey day when you can apply the techniques you have learned to the primary recording of archaeological landscape features.  

Topics covered

  • Geomatics
  • Use of distance and angle measurements
  • Basic techniques for measuring, recording and plotting elevation
  • Total station survey
  • Global positioning systems (GPS)
  • Structure-from-motion
  • 3D laser scanning 
  • Next generation technologies