ARC653 - Introduction to GIS Technologies in Archaeology

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the theoretical knowledge and the fundamental principles in the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Students will be exposed to a number of past applications of GIS dealing with either Landscape studies or intra-site analyses to understand the wide spectrum of GIS applications in Archaeology and other Social Sciences.

The course will provide theoretical information regarding the different types of digital data (raster and vector format), the analysis and editing of them, the digitization of Historical, Topographical, or Geological maps and aerial images and their geo-referencing and rectification, the various projection systems, the derivation and analysis of Digital Terrain Models (e.g. derivatives of it, basic viewshed analysis, least cost surface, etc.) and the creation of digital thematic maps.

The course aims to give a theoretical background to students wishing to pursue research in the fields of Landscape Archaeology and applications related to analyses of the environment and space in Archaeology, History, and other Social sciences. With the completion of the laboratory section of this course, students will get a hands-on experience of the ArcGIS environment, the digitization of a variety of maps (e.g. geological and topographic maps), the import of historical/archaeological datasets, the georeferencing of maps, and aerial photographs, the transformation of projection systems, the connection with databases and the creation of thematic maps. The particular course will provide the foundation for the students to understand the types of datasets and the basic spatial tools that they can employ to proceed to more sophisticated mapping and modeling which will be carried out in the second level of the course (GIS II).

The examples that will be provided, will be drawn from previous investigations that address various archaeological and historical questions. The course will approach the following topics:

  • Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Applications of GIS in Archaeology. Examples.
  • The semantic of Cartography
  • Geographic Datasets (vector & raster)
  • Geodetic Systems of Reference and Projection systems
  • Transformations of Projection systems
  • Rectification of Maps and Aerial Photos
  • Digitization of maps and aerial photos
  • Data Bases. Ontologies and Hierarchies.
  • Structure of GeoDatabases
  • Digital Elevation Model and its Derivatives
  • Analysis of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

Laboratory hands-on experience will be gained in the following topics:

  • Introduction to the environment of ARCGIS: ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcScene
  • Georeferencing of Historical maps, Topographic maps, geological maps, aerial photos.
  • Transformation of projection systems
  • Rectification of aerial images
  • Digitization of maps and aerial photos
  • Import of Databases in GIS.
  • Connection of Databases with Cartographic Layers.
  • Analysis of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)


ARC 670 - Applications of GeoInformatics in Archaeology

The course aims to introduce students to the fundamentals and the actual applications of Geomatics in Archaeology. It will make an overview of the terrestrial subsurface mapping techniques, aerial and satellite remote sensing.

It will address the issue of Geophysical prospection, photogrammetry and UAVs, GPS mapping, terrestrial and aerial Lidar, and the employment of historical aerial and satellite imagery in the course of archaeological research with emphasis on Landscape archaeological studies, Cultural Resources Management (CRM), and the monitoring of historical monuments and buildings.

Students are expected to acquire a solid foundation and basic knowledge for the implementation of a wide range of applications of Geomatics that address topics related to Landscape Archaeology, Cultural Resources Management (CRM), and the monitoring of historical monuments and buildings. They shall acquire a general knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of each technique, the way of collection of measurements, and how to interpret them.

The course will provide the theoretical background of the specific technologies and demonstration of some of the basic tools used in the field. Students will obtain some practical hands-on experience on working with some of the geophysical techniques (more particularly with Ground-penetrating radar-GPR, magnetometers, and soil resistance meters) and they shall be able to collect measurements and process the data.

The course will include the following topics:

  • Questions related to Landscape Archaeology
  • Introduction to the Geospatial Technologies and Applications in the Landscape Archaeology. Examples.
  • Geophysical Techniques [Soil properties – Magnetic and Chemical analyses]
  • Magnetic and Electrical Prospection Techniques
  • Other Geophysical Prospection Techniques [Electromagnetic, GPR, Seismic, microgravity]
  • Synthesis of Geophysical Technics – Integrated Studies approaching specific Archaeological questions.
  • Practical training with geophysical instrumentation. Processing of Geophysical Data
  • Aerial Reconnaissance and Photogrammetry
  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
  • Principles of Laser scanning.
  • Lidar / Historical imagery of CORONA / Historical Aerial images
  • Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing
  • Electromagnetic Radiation and types of satellite sensors
  • Properties of Satellite imagery – Multispectral imagery
  • Photointerpretation principles
  • Preprocessing of satellite images (geometric, radiometric and atmospheric corrections)
  • Processing of Satellite imagery. Synthesis of images
  • Vegetation indices
  • Examples of the application of Satellite Remote Sensing in the Landscape Archaeology

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ARC 673 - Geospatial Analysis and Modelling in GIS (GIS II)

The course will build on the basics of GIS I (Introduction to GIS Technologies) and proceed with the introduction of more sophisticated spatial analyses that can be used in the wider domain of Humanities but also of Environmental Sciences.

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the theoretical knowledge and the fundamental principles of advanced spatial analyses through the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) that can combine and analyze a diverse data set of geodata and geographical information.

Students will be exposed to different functions and analyses of GIS that are necessary in Landscape Archaeology and Spatial History and they shall be able to learn about the necessary workflows that need to be followed for achieving specific goals that are fundamental in spatial processing.

They shall be able to combine, synthesize, and process map layers (both vector and raster), classify different datasets based on their descriptive statistics, and create densities, buffers, and catchments of surface maps. They shall experiment with different Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to carry out viewshed and hydrological analysis that can be used for studying settlement patterns and the exploitation of the archaeolandscapes. In the end, they shall also be trained to work with different models (MCDA and AHP) and create their own workflows in a more automatic workflow (Model Builder).

The course will provide theoretical information behind each topic to be addressed and it will be also accompanied by practical exercises (hands-on experience) in ArcGIS software with data provided by the instructor. These datasets will simulate real archaeological questions and will train students on the application of similar analyses that can be applied for their own MA or Ph.D. research.

The course aims to provide the students the necessary skills to carry out their future (MA and Ph.D.) research through the employment of the advanced spatial tools of GIS. These tools can be used in different domains of Archaeology, History, Humanities, Environment, and Geosciences. It is expected that by the end of the course, students will be capable of running all the particular analyses that will be exposed to and will be aware of similar functions that can be employed for addressing specific archaeological and environmental related questions.

The course will approach the following topics through both theoretical and practical (hands-on experience and programming) sessions:

  • Geospatial Analyses.
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Classification of map attributes
  • Creating Density maps and recognizing patterns
  • Map Algebra and spatial operations
  • Viewshed and visibility analysis
  • Least Cost Path and Cost Surface Analysis
  • Geomorphometric indices
  • Hydrological Analysis
  • Modelling through Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)
  • Environmental Risk Assessment and Cultural Resources Management
  • Introduction to Model Builder

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ARC 671 - Computational and Analytic Techniques in the Humanities and Social Sciences

The particular course aims to give students of History and Archaeology a theoretical base and practical training in topics concerning the application of information technologies and computational methods in the Humanities. The course will focus on familiarizing students with specific software dealing with the analysis, processing, and visualization of data which may manage in the future, either in their working or academic environment The goal of this course is to provide practical knowledge and training for the statistical analysis of measurements, creation of charts and thematic maps, the visualization of spatial-temporal associations and networks, the analysis of digital texts and literature, etc.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • make key processes with quantitative and qualitative data, evaluate and modify data according to their requirements.
  • make analyses of the measurements, sort them and export descriptive statistics for quantitative data.
  • Apply multivariate statistical tests (F test, Pearson coefficient, discriminate analysis, etc.) to understand the statistical significance of the archaeological data and their correlation.
  • create histograms, tables, and different graphs that will visualize the classification and spread of their data.
  • create 2D and 3D distribution maps of archaeological and historical quantitative data.
  • analyze spatial and temporal links that might exist in their measurements. Navigate in Google Earth and manage the information they enter into it. Get experience with geotagging, export data, and import them into ArcGIS.
  • analyze and visualize trends and statistics of thematic digital literature.

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ARC 699 - Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities

The course will address the state of the art and the last developments in the domain of the technical advancements and applications of GeoInformatics in Digital Humanities. The aim of the course is to provide students with a strong stimulation about the latest developments of GeoInformatics arising from the literature and scientific publications.

The topics that will be addressed will change accordingly to the very recent progress that has been made and it will inspire and motivate students to follow the particular trends in their MA or Ph.D. research.

Examples drawn for the international literature will be presented and discussed among students. The course will provide the theoretical knowledge, explain the algorithms and the ways of processing and application of them in addressing specific archaeological/historical questions.

Students will be exposed to a number of advanced level applications that have been carried out from various international groups and research projects, covering topics like Cultural Heritage management and monitoring through GIS and crowdsourcing, Machine Learning/Deep Learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/DL/AI), Lidar applications for archaeological and environmental monitoring, satellite remote sensing and Aerial (historical/recent/multispectral), fusion algorithms for merging diverse geophysical, archaeological and satellite data, methods for addressing the risk assessment of monuments and sites, the extraction of archaeological signatures from geophysical data, the effect of soils in the geophysical measurements, the combination of smart agriculture with geophysical techniques, the palaeolandscape/archaeoenvironmental reconstruction methods, etc.

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ARC 650 - Settlement and Landscape Archaeology

The aim of this seminar course is to offer students a cohesive and complete theoretical, methodological, and practical background of settlement- and landscape archaeology as a means of studying built space and the natural environment at a higher resolution in order to identify, quantify and comprehend past human activity. With the use of case studies, in situ visits, and drills, students will become familiar with (a) state-of-the-art methods and approaches for examining archaeological landscapes and (b) the technical equipment (e.g. robotic total station, Differential GPS, handheld computers, etc.) for recording and documenting archaeological features in the field.

After the completion of the course, the student should be in a position to:

  • Have good knowledge of past and current methods, approaches, and techniques of settlement- and landscape archaeology,
  • pose research questions and provide answers related to the course’s topics of investigation (i.e. field methods and techniques, landscape research, interpretation of landscape data),
  • analyze and evaluate archaeological data deriving from field research projects, using contemporary and up-to-date theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches,
  • study systematically and use critically secondary bibliography,
  • participate in scientific discussions, appreciate the value of constructive criticism, as well as offer and accept feedback,
  • be familiar with the different stages of composing a written piece of work,
  • be familiar with scientific deontology and always avoid plagiarism,
  • prepare and orally present assignments within a set time-frame by using the necessary audio-visual tools.

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ARC 654 - Maritime Cultural Landscape

The purpose of the course is to convey to the students the concept of maritime landscape and its components so that they are able to plan a comprehensive fieldwork project in the coastal zone.

Upon completion of the seminar, students are expected to a) have a grasp of the contemporary research regarding the theoretical discussion and the methodological approaches of the concept of the maritime cultural landscape, b) be in a position to date and analyze sites of coastal settlements and harbour installations, taking into consideration the coastal changes and the dynamics of human presence in the coastal zone, and c) be able to assess the role of certain elements of the seascape (weather conditions and coastal topography, landmarks and orientation) in the development of pre-industrial shipping. The theoretical discussions are always complemented with examples of completed projects so that the students become familiar with the archaeological record and the latest developments in the domain.

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ARC 651 -  Mediterranean Island Landscapes

The primary purpose of the course is to become acquainted with the cultural distinctiveness of the Mediterranean islands, especially the mega islands of Cyprus, Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia, but also smaller ones, like the Cyclades in the Aegean Archipelago. To define their cultural choices and their social resilience through comparisons with each other and with the nearest continents. To investigate how the island populations exploited the landscape and the natural resources. To ask why some developed early complex societies (e.g. Crete) while others chose to avoid political complexity (e.g. Sardinia).

The student is meant to develop an understanding of the field of Island   Archaeologies that should allow him/her to see that islands, irrespective of size or proximity to continents, can afford to ignore continental models. Their idiosyncratic cultural developments should not be interpreted as “weaknesses” or as the result of isolation from the continents but as social choices.

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ARC 663 - Introduction to Cultural Heritage Management

Course objectives and outcomes include:

  • Introduction to Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) through international instruments and conventions, local legislation regarding CHM, as well as actual practices in Cyprus and abroad, especially in Europe.
  • Examination of the theoretical framework (including ethics), methods, and techniques employed to ensure the protection, conservation, and highlighting of cultural resources.
  • Highlighting the importance of cultural resources not only for scientific research and but also for sustainable development, social cohesion, and conflict resolution.
  • Familiarity with the concept of cultural heritage, how it is defined and by whom, why it is important, the dangers that threaten it, why it is imperative to be managed, and what this entails.
  • Acquaintance with the relevant legal framework (local legislation and international instruments) as well as with the most important organizations involved in CHM locally and internationally
  • Recognition of the importance of proper CHM for the promotion of scientific knowledge, sustainable development, the improvement of the quality of life of human societies, the cultivation of respect for all human beings and their achievements, and peace-building.
  • Acquaintance with good and bad practices in the field of CHM.
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ARC 615 - Practical Training in Field Archaeology

The purpose of this course is the students’ on-site training in generic and specific practical archaeological skills, supplemented by formal lectures.

More specifically, the students will a) expose themselves to the particular conditions of teamwork in the field and develop communication and collaboration skills, b) experience the challenges and rewards of discovering material remains of the past, c) get a grasp of the research related to archaeological fieldwork.

The course is expected to be very intensive spending many hours in the field, processing data in the afternoons, attending lectures, studying methods and processing techniques.

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