University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Post-excavation analysis in archaeology using technology
Kostas Anastasiades, Nicola Amico, Giancarlo Iannone, Sorin Hermon, Karin Nys

Last modified: 2011-12-22


Excavating an archaeological site means intrinsically destroying it. For this reason, strong emphasis has been put on the careful recording of all the data acquired during the excavation. When we are dealing with the post-excavation processing of excavations done by another archaeologist in the past, though, we might be confronted with a lack of data. Sometimes even the ground plan of the site was not drawn carefully, resulting in huge measuring errors.

How can the new technologies help us in the process of recovering and fully exploiting the available data?

The best way to run an investigation like this is through a case study: the post-excavation processing of the Swedish archaeological campaigns which was carried out from 1980 to 2005, at the Late Bronze Age harbour town near Hala Sultan Tekke (Cyprus). The ground plan of the site was drawn by hand in the 1970’s and never revised. Also the site’s stratigraphic sequence, its architectural contexts and key artefact assemblages still need to be fully defined.

In this paper we want to investigate how these technologies can be integrated in the best way so they can be beneficial for the documentation of the archaeological research of such a particular case. Topographical surveys with DGPS and Total Station, TLS and Structure for Motion methodology were executed to evaluate case by case the problems to deal with and to develop an accurate record of the excavation. Furthermore a SWOT analysis will be applied to provide a satisfying answer on the validity of the technique integration approach.


laser scanning; structure for motion; archaeology recording