New degree in development: Computer- and Geoscience in Archaeology

Faculty of Informatics / Mathematics

[Translate to English:] Bild, dass die Verarbeitung von Geländedaten vom Orthofoto bis zum Höhenlinienmodell darstellt

Computer- and Geoscience in Archaeology at the HTW Dresden

An interdisciplinary team of researchers and teachers of the HTW Dresden (University of Applied Sciences)  is currently devloping a new master degree in the field of applied computer- and geoscienes in archaeology. The curriculum is devoted to the application of information technology to contribute to solving the diverse challenges posed by task of researching, protecting, publishing and public utilization of the material cultural heritage of mankind. The master degree is intended to be internationally oriented and will be developed in cooperation with international partners. The teaching language will be english.

Researchers of the HTW Dresden have long been working on different applications of computer-, geoscience and remote sensing in archaeology. Successful projects such as Archaeocopter und Archaeonautic have repeatedly proven the potential of cooperation between engineers and archaeologists. Based on such successful cooperation projects researchers and teachers from HTW Dresden, German Archaeological Instiute and National University of Mongoloia gathered together to develop formal curricula, thereby fostering exchange between science, engineering and humanities. The growing importance and dissemination of technology in archaeology and cultural heritage sectors is until now accompanied by a lack of formal curricula in this field. The HTW and its partners are thereby developing a unique offer, which will be taylored to the demand of the archaeological job market.

International cooperation

Since 2018 the ArchaeoCopter Team of the HTW Dresden is supporting the resarch of the Mongolian-German Orkhon-Expedition in Mongolia. Within this project researchers of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, the National University of Mongolia and the German Archaeological Institute are studying the process of urbanization in the medieval nomad empires of the steppe. In 2019, the National University of Mongolia and the HTW Dresden signed a Memorandum of Understanding, affirming that they wanted to collaborate and develop curricula in the field of computer science in archaeology.

Funding by the DAAD programme

The project is funded by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service) within the programme The programme aims for the persistent internationalization of universities of applied sciences by exchange and cooperation with international partners and the development of international curricula. DAAD provides funding of personell, material and mobility expenses for the exchange of students and teachers between the cooperation partners to the project.

The new master degree "Computer- and Geoscience in Archaeology"

The main aim of the project at the HTW Dresden is the development of a master degree, which furthers interdisciplinary skills and cooperation between archaeology, computer- and geosciences. The curriculum is intended to upskill graduates of the fields of archaeology. The students will be provided training in the basics and methods of computer- and geosciences. All students will receive training in the application of spatial and object-focused technologies such as GIS, remote sensing and 3D documentation and processing. Another important focus will be research data management with an emphasis on open data policies and linked open data. Finally strategies and technologies of knowledge dissemination and public outreach and legal and ethical standards will be thaught. During the curriculum, the students will be entitled to participate in the research projects of the cooperating institutions, gathering experiences in the field and research. The students will thereby be trained to adress problems and contribute to the development of solutions fit for the diverse needs in archaeology and cultural heritage institutions and companies.

Virtual Summer School "Computer- and Geoscience in Archaeology"

As one of the teaching activities of the project, the partners have been organizing the virtual summer schools "Computer- and geoscience in archaeology" in 2020 and 2021. The summer schools addressed students and graduates of archaeology curricula as well as tech-oriented studies, who want to gather first hands-on experiences in the application of information technologies in archaeology.

Depending on the background of the participants the summer schools provided basic introductions into computer- and geoscience methods or into archaeology. After the basic introductions, different topics of digital archaeology have been adressed. The participants have been provided with the possibility to apply the thaught skills on their own projects or on provided sample data.

Both summer schools have been a large success. The high number of international applicants demonstrate the high demand for the new degree in development.

Further information on the summer schools 2020 and 2021