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Computational Intelligence in Archaeology

As some of you may know, my masters topic was “A Computational Intelligence Approach to Clustering Temporal Archaeological Data”. As Masters sometimes do, that topic ended up having to change, removing the archaeology :( and resulting in just “A Computational Intelligence Approach to Clustering Temporal Data”.

Removing the archaeology also meant removing everything from the literature study relevant to archaeology, except maybe some examples I managed to keep in. This post contains the literature that had to be removed. The post begins giving a short overview of archaeology, explaining the role of computational intelligence in archaeology and concluding with a variety of examples where computational intelligence has been used in archaeology.

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Stuff you should know – Archaeology episode

One of my favourite podcasts, Stuff you should know, had an episode on archaeology recently. The episode is called “Archaeology in a Nutshell” and it can be found online here. These guys are definitely worth listening to and are quite entertaining. They cover all kinds of topics, so I will message them and see if they are willing to do a computational archaeology episode at some point. Wish me luck :)

You can find more of their podcasts here.

You can follow them on twitter: @SYSKPodcast or on Facebook.

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Diachronic Design

So, a fellow computational archaeologist found my blog and got in touch with me. He does some pretty cool stuff in his digital archaeology company called Diachronic Design, so I feel it would be good to share it with all of you. Go check out his website, it offers:

There is also a blog you can follow to find out more about  software for archaeology, news about digital archaeology and ideas about the subject.

Diachronic Design also offers freelance services to develop various kinds of archaeological applications. So if you, an archaeologist, need some software this company may be a good place to start.

If you want to follow the company on twitter use: @DiachronicD

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A closer look at the Zamani Project

For those who haven’t read the post where I mentioned the Zamani project before, the Zamani project is a project based in Cape Town (South Africa) which focuses on the digital documentation of archaeological sites. You can Follow them on Facebook, they post some interesting articles and videos.

Some of the projects they have done or are busy with (map of these here):

  1. Documenting the Klasies River Cave Tsitsikamma
  2. Ethiopia
  3. Ghana
  4. Jordan
  5. Kenya
  6. Mali
  7. Mozambique
  8. South Africa
  9. Sudan
  10. Tanzania
  11. Uganda
  12. United Arab Emirates
  13. Zimbabwe
  14. Documenting the Cango Caves

Some extra links:

  1. If you want to watch videos of the 3D models done by the Zamani project, here is a link to the videos uploaded to Youtube.
  2. To find out more about the types of data that the Zamani project deals with, check this out on their website.
  3. The Zamani project blog
  4. A blog post about the Zamani Project (in interview form)
  5. An article by Word Design Capital Cape Town about the Zamani Project
  6. Ancient History Encyclopaedia – An interview with Heinz Rüther
  7. Another article about the project 
  8. A video introducing the project
  9. ARC – focus on the effects of visualisation across various fields. They have some relevant projects and an article about the Zamani Project
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Some more links for May

I’ve already posted some links in my previous blog post. However, after posting that I found a few more relevant links:

  • Marine Technology Society: This is a society focused on further development, awareness and improvement of marine technologies.
  • Coralbot: A video of some awesome robots used to move loose reef fragments to the larger reefs. Although not used for archaeology, the robots do have some potential in the field. Additionally, there’s a shipwreck model in their demo, and they used blender which I have recommended before for 3D modelling of archaeological sites.
  • Workshop on EU funded Marine Robotics and Applications: A workshop where marine robotics projects will be presented, which is taking place in Italy in June. I must say, this is one of the nicest workshop/conference sites I have seen, they are usually in horrific colour combinations or have an image as a background. Check it out, they have a nice list of the projects to be presented.
  • SEAV Training 2014: International training form digital Digital Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. Also you can check out the website here.
  • SEAV: Spanish society of virtual archaeology.
  • Flights Into The Past book release: A book about aerial archaeology.


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Computational Archaeology – May links

I disappeared for a while as I was busy wrapping up the first draft of my thesis. Now it’s time to catch up on some blogging. Here are some links relevant to computational archaeology you may have missed during my absence:

  • What can we learn from computational archaeology: How stuff works has a short article explaining computational archaeology. These guys are awesome and have some great podcasts (such as stuff you should know).
  • VENUS Project – Virtual ExploratioN of Underwater Sites - This project aims to provide tools and methodologies aimed at the virtual exploration of underwater sites. The exploration of underwater sites is aided by the generation of 3D mapping and models that can be analysed. These guys use autonomous as well as remote operated underwater vehicles equipped with sonar and photogrammetry tools. Go read up on them, they do pretty awesome things.
  • Underwater robotics competition – If you tend to read this blog mainly due to the underwater robotics posts and  you’re near one of the listed locations this competition may be perfect for you. Build a robot to perform a variety of tasks. I see South Africa didn’t make it to the list of locations, but I also saw this too late to build a robot with my very limited engineering knowledge in one month (anyone need a programmer for theirs? :P). Even if you miss this year keep in mind the competition happens yearly.
  • Available jobs in underwater robotics: If you’re interested in underwater robotics there are a variety of available jobs at MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education).
  • Underwater robotics parts and kits: To get started with underwater robotics you can check out the MATE store :) Time to save up.
  • Westcoast words: some books on building underwater robots you may be interested in.
  • NV State University Underwater Robotics Club: A group of students getting together to build underwater robots for fun. Definitely an extra-curricular activity I would have done.
  • Free online courses: Free online courses in various fields.
  • ROV3D Project: They have the ROV3D project’s goal is to develop automated proceedings of 3D surveys, dedicated to underwater environment, using acoustic and optic sensors
  • Comex:  Comex deal with underwater exploration in high depth
  • Computational Modelling Group: A group at the University of Southampton that deals with computational models for various fields, one of which is archaeology.
  • Eleftheria Paliou blog: An archaeologist’s blog that has various posts tagged as computational archaeology posts.
  • How long till archaeologists are benefitting from Google’s Project Tango?: This is a blog post about using Google’s project tango for archaeology. I wanted to write a post about this myself but found this one and commented on it instead.




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Computational Archaeology – March links and courses

Time for some more links:

  • Oxford Archaeology: This is an archaeology and heritage practice that provides a variety of archaeology related services. Under their specialist services you can find a variety of computational archaeology services such as GIS surveying and graphics.
  • Virtual Heritage Lab: This is a lab dealing with digital projects in archaeology.
  • Spatial-tech: A computational archaeologist’s website aiming to discuss the latest technology being applied to archaeology.
  • LABUST: An organisation focusing on the research of underwater systems and  technologies. Although they don’t focus in archaeology, they do mention some archaeology projects.


Spatial-tech posted information about an online archaeology course taking place in May. This made me decide to make a similar post to my old Coursera relevant courses and include it there. Here are some new courses you may be interested in:


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