The outline conference timetable is as follows:
Saturday 5th March 2016
11:00 – 11:10 – Introduction and Welcome – The Organising Committee
Session 1: Remote sensing and geoprospection
11:10 – 11:30 – The Endangered Archaeology Image Interpretation Methodology – Louise Rayne – Show Abstract
This paper discusses some of the problems with relying on remote interpretation of archaeology. We are entering data about archaeology into our database based on a visual examination of Google Earth images. This offers a relatively constrained view of the landscape in that the original image data is not available. In some cases there are few or no high quality images of specific areas. Moreover, it can be difficult to make interpretations of features without further validation from fieldwork. However, for specific regions we have been utilising a greater range of data to record information about archaeological sites. These include high resolution imagery such as WorldView and historical aerial photographs and 1960s-70s declassified spy satellite images.
Image interpretation of archaeology often can be the best available method for recording it relatively quickly and cheaply, including in areas where major and irreversible damage is occurring and where fieldwork is not possible. Even where sophisticated interpretations cannot be made, the presence of archaeology can be listed. The open-access database will be made available online and will assist all those with responsibilities for the management, protection and promotion of their cultural heritage. Our data have already been used for these purposes in Libya and Morocco.
11:30 – 11:50 – Seeing Things Differently: The use of Combined Geochemical and Geophysical Prospection Techniques to Investigate Early Islamic Town Planning – Kate Welham, Derek Pitman, Chloe Duckworth, David Govantes- Edwards, Yvette Barbier and Ricardo Córdoba de la Llave – Show Abstract
Preliminary results are presented that demonstrate how this novel approach to site-wide prospection has identified a range of likely production areas within the medina (city) at Madinat al- Zahra. Elemental ‘hotspots’ obtained from a relatively coarse pXRF survey of the top-soil at the site are seen to be directly linked to substantive magnetic anomalies that have geophysical signatures suggestive of high-temperature activities. Iron working and probable ceramic production were located, and specifically areas of elevated lead, copper and manganese were found to be linked to the remains of furnaces that may have produced the famous glazed ceramics known to be manufactured on the site. The results move beyond enabling a more nuanced approach to the interpretation of geophysical datasets, and towards an integrated archaeological prospection tool on a site-wide level.
11:50 – 12:10 – The Potential Futures of Drone Recording in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage – Daniel Joyce – Show Abstract
But the use of drones can open up whole new innovative recording techniques, a number of which I will be discussing. These will include the automated photogrammetric mapping of sites using a drone autopilot to provide detailed 3D models or Digital Elevation Models for GIS applications, the mapping of sites using near-infrared imaging to aid in identifying buried archaeological remains. The same technology can also provide a means to accurately record building facades with the help of open source software. All of this data can easily be processed using the potential of cloud computing.
While recently developed flight control technology together with computer vision technologies provide an innovative way to record site tours by having the drone follow the person giving the tour using cinematic style controls.
Future developments in drone technologies open up the possibility of fleets of drones autonomously navigating and recording sites on their own using different sensor packages.
With decreasing costs, increased automation and ease of use, drones may become a common tool on almost all archaeological sites autonomously recording the progress of the excavation at set intervals and providing a level of recording detail not seen before without the need of human intervention.
12:10 – 12:30 – Questions
12:30 – 14:00 – Lunch (display of posters in SAAH Seminar Room)
Session 2: GIS I
14:00 – 14:20 – Quantitative Route Analysis and the Construction of Route Models – Michelle de Grouchy – Show Abstract
14:20 – 14:40 – Missing Data and GIS: A Case Study Using Romano-British Metalwork Hoards – Rachel Sycamore – Show Abstract
This paper will discuss the theoretical concerns of integrating records from Britain of Roman hoards containing metal objects to use in GIS and reveal how the issues raised by this case study apply generally to archaeological applications of GIS. Roman hoards have been discovered since the 1600s and many have been lost. There are also differing levels of detail in the records and various levels of spatial accuracy surviving regarding their location. These considerations apply to the majority of archaeological remains and as a result they must be critically understood.
14:40 – 15:00 – The way that I field: analysing field system morphology using GIS – Chris Green – Show Abstract
15:00 – 15:30 – Questions
15:30 – 16:00 – Tea Break (SAAH Foyer)
Session 3: GIS II
16:00 – 16:20 – Expense vs. Effect :An analysis of selected variables that affect the production of cost surfaces – Edward Caswell –Show Abstract
This paper builds on those existing works by systematically exploring the differences in cost surfaces produced when varying:
- GIS package (ArcGIS and GRASS).
- DEM resolution.
- Cost components (slope and terrain).
- The coefficients that determine the cost of human movement.
It will demonstrate the variability in catchment area size and least cost paths that are produced through changing these variables across ten case study zones. The results will identify which variables have the most significant effect on creation of cost surfaces and least cost paths in order to demonstrate which should be made explicit within publications and which have little overall effect to archaeological interpretation.
16:20 – 16:40 – The application of GIS in the research of ancient village transformation and protection – Qin Du – Show Abstract
As tool for data visualization, GIS shows the aggregation of each type. Following, an historical map of the village in the 1950s was introduced to GIS and overlapped with the current data, so the expansion of village can be calculated. The result shows the expansion corresponds with the increase of people, which means the living mode didn’t change. Furthermore, the existing houses could be divided into two groups: inside and outside the area of 1950s. Comparing them, people’s preference of style can be seen. In this regard, GIS can be adopted to analyze people’s behavior.
16:40 – 17:00 – Walking Across Beach Sand is Hard and Other Discoveries: first results of assessing the time cost of moving through various terrains – Michelle de Grouchy, Edward Caswell and James Edwards – Show Abstract
17:00 – 17:20 – The Embodied GIS. Using Mixed Reality to explore multi-sensory archaeological landscapes – Stuart Eve – Show Abstract
17:20 – 17:50 – Questions
18:00 – 20:00 – Wine reception (Attenborough Arts Centre) – hands-on display of retro computer game consoles organised by our colleagues at the Retro Computer Museum http://www.retrocomputermuseum.co.uk/
From 20:00 – Evening Meal (Crafty Burger, St. Martins, Town Centre)
Sunday 6th March 2016
09:50 – 10:00 – Introduction and Welcome – The Organising Committee
Session 4: Agent-based modelling
10:00 – 10:20 – People make practice: How networks and Metapopulations can help us understand the Lower to Middle Palaeolithic Transition – Peter Alfano – Show Abstract
By adopting a theoretical approach inspired by metapopulation ecology, I hope to explore how factors such as, population density, and changes in environmental affordance, may have affected the transfer of information and practice across social networks during the Lower to Middle Palaeolithic. It should be possible to create an Agent Based Model (ABM) to explore the nature of cultural transmission and the maintenance of practice during the period in question.
It is hoped that this will provide further evidence for reimagining the Lower to Middle Palaeolithic transition as a nuanced, localised, event which happened in in different places at different scales
10:20 – 10:40 – Contrasting the influence of factors shaping the spread of early farming using an adapted cultural dissemination model – Nelis Drost and Marc Vander Linden – Show Abstract
More recently, agent based models have found use in exploring the more qualitative aspects of spreading scenarios, and these are better suited to testing hypotheses about how, or why, a phenomenon spread.
We present one such model, derived from Axelrod’s (1997) cultural dissemination model, and its application to the study of the spread of early farming into South-Eastern Europe. A series of modifications to the model allows us to better represent both the spatial reality of archaeological data, and the specific scenario of neolithisation. Further variation allows us to contrast conflicting hypotheses about how farming spread, and what level of interaction took place within and between both the already present mesolithic cultures, and the expanding neolithic.
By contrasting the behaviour of these models with a newly collated data set of dates and material assemblages, utilising approximate Bayesian computation, we hope to discover to what degree various factors shaped the spread of the neolithic, and the transient cultural landscape of the time.
10:40 – 11:00 – Agent Based Modelling in Archaeology- When Will It Get Complex? – Doug Rocks-Macqueen – Show Abstract
11:00 – 11:20 – Questions
11:20 – 11:50 – Tea Break
Session 5: VR and 3D Visualisation
11:50 – 12:10 – 3D Scanning of an Exceptional Ancient Artefact. The Bronze Matrix from Sarmizegetusa Regia – Grădiştea de Munte (Hunedoara County, Romania) – Călin Neamţu and Răzvan Mateescu – Show Abstract
The geometry of the designs on the matrix is a very complex one, thus, in this case, traditional measuring methods showed their limits. In order to acquire precise data concerning different aspects of the matrix and to obtain an accurate model, a team of specialists coming from the Technical University (Cluj-Napoca) used three different methods to scan the ancient artefact.
The general description of the matrix (including the context of the discovery, chronology and functionality) and the results of the 3D scanning are the main topics of the presentation.
12:10 – 12:30 – Digifact – How People Perceive Tangible Cultural Heritage through Different Media – Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco – Show Abstract
12:30 – 12:50 – Community memories and virtual reality: the 3D reconstruction of St. Mary Bishophill Senior – Angleo Maria Cappa – Show Abstract
Furthermore, this research adopted a direct interaction with the local community of York in order to understand whether or not their memories can be physically represented in a virtual environment, as well as to analyse the overall relationship between the community itself and computer-based reconstructions.
The results, collected at the end of the project, showed that despite the complexity of representing intangible heritage, however 3D modelling and computer graphics representations have proved to be excellent tools to bring back memories to people’s minds. Hence to examine the high level of association between virtual reality, its level of engagement with the audience, and the historic significance of an area.
12:50 – 13:10 – Questions
13:10 – 14:30 – Lunch – Demo of ARK QGIS digitising plugin)
Session 6: Excavation and Archiving
14:30 – 14:50 – The Matrix Reloaded: Explorations in Directed Acyclic Graphs – John Layt – Show Abstract
14:50 – 15:10 – Interactive navigation and visualization of digitized archaeological excavations – Radu Comes, Zsolt Buna and Liliana Mateescu–Suciu – Show Abstract
This paper presents virtual environments that allow the users to explore the archaeological excavation using natural gestures. The virtual environment uses motion sensors (Kinect and LeapMotion) in order to track the natural gestures of the users in real time enabling an interactive navigation. Some of the issues regarding large datasets integration in virtual reality environments will be presented as well as the advantages of natural gestures navigation and interaction with archaeological datasets.
15:10 – 15:30 – Digital frameworks in archaeological fieldwork: practices for archiving, management and visualisation of Structure-from-Motion data – Fabrizio Galeazzi and Peter Jensen – Show Abstract
To date, there have only been a few attempts to create prototype management systems for the archiving, visualization and analysis of 3D representations of archaeological excavations. The first part of this paper defines new approaches for the long-term preservation of Structure-from-Motion data, metadata and paradata in the ADS (Archaeology Data Service) cyber-infrastructure. This is part of a major effort to develop standards for the preservation and visualisation of 3D data in ADS.
The second part of the paper shows how Structure-from-Motion data can be integrated in online data management systems, which favour the preservation, visualisation and analysis of the archaeological record. Two different systems are presented and compared: (1) the first one, ADS 3D Viewer, is a web-based dynamic visualization system developed to access 3D data archived in the ADS infrastructure; (2) the second is a cross platform application linked to an online spatial database. Starting from the comparison and evaluation of existing infrastructures, the aim of this contribution is to develop common frameworks for the management of Structure-from-Motion data and open a discussion among archaeological practitioners. This research will be a useful instrument for the development of future infrastructures, which address the different needs, and expectations of the user.
15:30 – 15:50 – Competing against the status quo: Are we building digital orphans? – Hugh Corley – Show Abstract
We need to compare how these systems work and how they contribute to the management of the production of data. Putting the technical challenges to one side, this paper will explore issues around user needs, expectations and assumptions. Increasing our understanding needs to come from not only learning from what works but also what has failed and whether this failure is the result of the technology, its implementation or other factors. As we move forward with the use and development of these systems we need to ensure we have the clearest picture of what processes will benefit from digital and those that do not. The aims are to improve our understanding of how this data will be used, what more can we aim to do to ensure efficient and accurate records are created and focus development on those areas that will benefit from being born digital.
15:50 – 16:20 – Questions
16:20 – 17:00 – CAA-UK AGM
A PDF of the timetable can be downloaded here.