Summer school on computer- and geoscience in archaeology

Faculty of Informatics / Mathematics

[Translate to English:] Bild das ein digitales Geländemodell zeigt

2nd Summer School "Computer and Geoscience in Archaeology" in September 2021

Between Septmber 6th and October 1st 2021 the 2nd (virtual) Summer School on Computer and Geoscience in Archaeology took place at HTW Dresden. The international Summer School was funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) within the "HAW.international" program. The event is part of a project of HTW Dresden, DAI (German Archaeological Institute) and the National University of Mongolia to implement an international master's degree for applied Computer and Geoscience in Archaeology.

Further information on the planned masters degree

The virtual summer school covered some of the core topics of the planned curriculum. The event offered participants from the diverse fields of archaeology the possibility, to gain first insights and hands-on practice in applied methods from this fields. Topics of the summer school comprised:

  • Geographic information systems,
  • programming,
  • remote sensing,
  • data modelling and databases,
  • applied statistics, image-based 3D-reconstruction,
  • 3D-visualization of archaeological reconstructions, and
  • AR- and VR-applications in Archaeology

During the course of the summer school, participants followed video-lectures, studied the provided materials and encountered the instructors in live sessions to discuss and solve problems.

The participants worked on their own projects in the course and aftermath of the summerschool and presented them in a virtual colloquium in December 2021. Topics ranged encompassed virtual museum guides, gis-based site modeling, database development and many more. The number 143 international applicants to the summer school demonstrate the demand for educational opportunities in this important field of modern archaeology.

The Instructors

Prof. Dr. Marco Block-Berlitz, Professor for Computer Graphics, HTW Dresden
Prof. Dr. Martin Oczipka, Professor for remote sensing and digital image processing, HTW Dresden
Dr. Benjamin Ducke, Head of Scientific Computing, German Archaeological Institute
Sebastian Hageneuer M.A., Computational Archaeologist, University of Cologne
Lukas Suthe B.A., Computer Scientist, HTW Dresden
Dr. Hendrik Rohland, Archaeologist, HTW Dresden/German Archaeological Institute

1st Summer School on computer- and geoscience in archaeology 2020

In the recent two weeks between August 31th and September 11th, an international summer school on Computer- and Geoscience in Archaeology was held by researchers and teachers from HTW Dresden (University of Applied Sciences), German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the Christan-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU Kiel).

The event was organized by Dr. Hendrik Rohland within a measure internationalization strategy of the HTW in the HAW.international programme, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In a cooperation between HTW, DAI and the National University of Mongolia (NUM), the partners aim to establish an international masters degree on computer- and geoscience in archaeology. The idea for the project was developed in the course of a research cooperation between DAI, NUM, HTW and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences in the years 2018 and 2019 at the magnificent medieval site of Karabalgasun, Mongolia. Inspired by the fruitful interdisciplinary and international cooperation, the participating scholars decided to develop a curriculum in the same spirit.

Further information on the masters degree

Further information on the 3d documentation in Mongolia

Futher information on the archaeological project in Mongolia

As a first step to develop the cooperation and parts of the new curriculum, common field trips of students from Germany and Mongolia to the research project of the DAI and its partners in Mongolia, the Mongolian-German Orkhon-Expedition, were planned for this year. However, the COVID pandemic made it impossible to travel and DAAD offered the possibility to repurpose part of the granted funding for virtual events.

The project team at the HTW (Prof. Dr. Marco-Block-Berlitz, Prof. Dr. Martin Oczipka, Dr. Hendrik Rohland) decided to offer an interdisciplinary virtual summer school that covered some core topics of the future curriculum. One of the main aims of the new degree is to further the interdisciplinary dialogue between archaeology and the sciences. Therefore, the summer school was divided into two tracks: one that provided participants with a scientific background introductions into the work and methods of archaeology and a second track which introduced students of archaeology into some important concepts and methods from the computer- and geosciences. Both tracks joined togehter after a week and the participants explored how these methods can be applied in archaeology.

During the application phase for the summer school, 69 students and scholars originating from 23 different countries applied. Due to limited resources to support such a number of students, only 25 could be admitted. The admitted participants came from Mongolia, Turkey, Australia, Serbia, Romania, France, Egypt and Germany. Luckily, the virtual format provided the possibility to record the lectures and share the used materials allowing the remaining applicants to access the content of the summer school as well. The number of applications proves, that there is a big demand for education in science-based and digital approaches in archaeology.

Within the two weeks, participants heared video-lectures and attended live practice sessions in the fields of research data management, practice, methods and theories of archaeolgy, history and fields of archaeology, data-modelling and databases, programming, 3d documentation , remote sensing and geoinformation systems. The summer school was teached by: Dr. Christin Keller, DAI; Dr. Christina Franken, DAI; Jonathan Ethiér, CAU Kiel; Dr. Benjamin Ducke, DAI; Prof. Dr. Marco-Block Berlitz; Prof. Dr. Martin Oczipka; Michael Bommhardt-Richter und Dr. Hendrik Rohland, all HTW. Ms. Conny Coburger supported the summer school with the development of a virtual environment for practicing programming and database development.

The succsessful summer school gave our team the opportunity to get in contact with the audience of the intended master’s degree and to collect valuable experiences in virtual teaching in an international setting. The participants provided very encouraging and also constructive feedback on the event which lets us look forward to the further development of the new degree together with our partners.