Digital Archaeology

Digital Archaeology is a one-year MSc specialisation at the internationally renowned Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University. This programme has a methodological focus on digital data for archaeological research, and the computational methods and tools required to collect, analyse and manage them.

The use of computers in archaeology goes back to the 1960s. Today, archaeology is one of the most digitised disciplines among the historical and social sciences. Computational tools have opened up new avenues for archaeological enquiry, and have significantly broadened our understanding of the human past.

Digital data

During archaeological survey, excavation or lab work, most data are nowadays recorded in digital format, using surveying equipment, cameras or other digital sensors. At the same time, legacy data from past research projects are scanned or otherwise digitised, and digital data from other sources, such as terrain models, satellite images etc. are increasingly incorporated into archaeological research. In this MSc-specialisation you will learn how to collect, import, manage, process and visualise different kinds of digital data for archaeological research.

Computational tools

To gain archaeological knowledge from digital data, a wide range of quantitative and computational tools and methods are used today that combine archaeological expertise with computer power, such as spatial analysis, statistics, modelling, image analysis, simulation, virtual reality and much more. In this MSc-specialisation, you will learn to use such methods and tools to analyse, interpret and present digital archaeological data in a meaningful way.

Theory and practice

As part of this MSc-specialisation, you will be able to engage in practical work, either in our own computer laboratories, during fieldwork related to one of our (international) research projects, or during internships at one of our partner institutions. The thesis topic of your choice will provide you with ample opportunity to acquire in-depth experience in one of the subfields of Digital Archaeology covered by this MSc-programme:

  • Surveying and geophysical prospection;
  • Remote sensing and image analysis;
  • 3D modelling and virtual reconstruction;
  • Spatial statistics and analysis;
  • Modelling and simulation;
  • Data management.

The study of Digital Archaeology is highly interdisciplinary. While this MSc-specialisation is firmly grounded in archaeology, a historical and social discipline, you will also get acquainted with aspects of a variety of other disciplines, including computer science, environmental sciences and engineering.

Master details

  • Dit is een afstudeerrichting van: Archaeology
  • Graad Master in Science of Archaeology
  • Onderwijsvorm Full-time
  • Duur 1 year
  • Start September, February
  • Taal English
  • Vestigingsplaats Leiden
  • Croho/isatcode 60805

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