University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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3D documentation and exploratory data analysis of excavation data using GIS
Markos Katsianis, Spyros Tsipidis

Last modified: 2012-01-20


This short presentation recapitulates some insights gained during the development process of an intra-site documentation system for the archaeological program of Paliambela Kolindros, Greece, using GIS. The research approach tried to combine digital field recording procedures with integrated data storage mechanisms and the representation of all excavated features in 3D. A number of modelling issues had to be resolved in order to take full advantage of recent GIS functionality in data management, 3D representation and temporal attribution in support of the archaeological knowledge production process.
The resulting application allows the employment of exploratory data analysis techniques in a 3D visualization environment allowing a better grasp of the complex thematic, spatial and chronological relations of excavation data. Further tools accommodate 3D distance queries, custom section generation, stratigraphic grouping and temporal classification of excavation data.
The entire methodology supports a complete digital excavation recording workflow and facilitates interpretation in a data-led synthetic manner. In this respect, the excavation archive is open to negotiation allowing a higher degree of reproducibility for the archaeological excavation process.


excavation documentation; GIS; 3D representation; stratigraphic analysis; temporal reasoning