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Digital Classical archaeology


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of AutoCAD.


Human activity has a spatial dimension. Space is becoming a defining feature in innovative archaeological research. This course will offer an introduction to a range of current analytical methods applied to past built and non-built environments, including Space Syntax, GIS applications and 3D visualisation. Through a well-balanced combination of method and theory with practical applications the course will not only offer practical skills but ensure a good understanding of the contributions these methods can make to archaeological interpretations.
The first part of the course will focus on Space Syntax methods of spatial analysis. This provides a rigorously analytical approach to the social meaning of space in practical and phenomenological aspects. It will offer an introduction to Space Syntax and will allow participants to apply their acquired skills to the archaeological record of their choice.
The second part of the course will focus on 3D visualisation applied to archaeology, with particular focus on the built environment. Reconstructing ancient sites and lifestyles has moved far away from early computer-game visualisations into increasingly lifelike reality-based interactive engagements with recreated past worlds. The main techniques to obtain 3D models will be presented and the first steps in 3D modelling will be taught through practical lessons. Aims and current issues of 3D visualisation techniques will be presented and discussed through a selection of case studies.

Course objectives

  • Raise awareness of the significance of space for all human activity;

  • Acquire good understanding of Space Syntax’ Methods and Theories, and the practical use of space syntax analysis tools;

  • Learn basic skills on how to make 3D visualisations;

  • Acquaintance with the main techniques of 3D data acquisition and 3D modelling and how to apply them to archaeology.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Practical exercises.

Assessment method

  • Student presentation of ‘case-studies:

    • one application of Space Syntax;
    • one 3D-Model;
  • Final essay write-up of ‘case-studies’, to be handed in by the end of the course.

Reading list

  • S. Bafta, Space Syntax: A Brief Introduction to its Logic and Analytical Techniques. Environment and Behavior 35 (2003), 17-29;

  • Selection of articles from B. Frischer (ed.), Making History Interactive: Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA 2009). Oxford: Archeopress (2010).
    Further literature will be indicated during class.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contractonderwijs: all information (costs, registration, entry requirements, etc.) for those who are interested in taking this course as a Contractstudent is on the Contractonderwijs Archeologie webpage (in Dutch).

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact mw drs J.J. Stöger.