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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Principles of GIS for Archaeologists (PGGE11181)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThere are many applications of GIS for archaeological research and the conservation and management of archaeological resources. This course seeks to build a theoretical and practical basis in the use of GIS technologies, and demonstrate how they can be variously applied to the study of Archaeology. The first five weeks of this course cover the same material and practicals associated with the Principles of GIS course and cover topics such as data modelling, data capture, analysis and visualisation. Commencing week 7, the following 5 weeks will explore the application of GIS to a diversity of scales and archaeological contexts. The combination of case studies portrayed in lectures and practicals will provide insight on the current use of GIS and spatial analysis in archaeology, from data acquisition to archaeological research and conservation management.
Course description The first five weeks of this 11 week course follow the same lectures and practicals as the 10 credit, level 11 course, Introduction to GIS PGGE11067. In Week 6 there is no lecture. From weeks 7 to 11, the lectures move to the Old Medical School, and the timing of the lecture changes. The practicals follow the lectures. The focus of the remaining 5 weeks is on the relevance and application of GIS to Archaeology.

GIS and Geography
Geographic Analysis
Representing Geography and Data Modelling
Data capture and data quality
Cartographic Design and Map Projections
The spatial patterns of material culture
The site and its environment
Regional dynamics and networks of interaction
GIS and Public Archaeology, Visit to HES (former RCAHMS)
Uncertainty in spatiotemporal dynamics

Practical 1 ArcGIS an introduction to frames, layers, colours and symbols
Practical 2 Data acquisition, editing and management
Practical 3 Spatial analysis using raster datasets
Practical 4 Spatial analysis with vector data
Practical 5 Cartographic Design and Map projections

Practical VI The identification of spatial patterns
Practical VII Spatial Analysis of settlement and sites
Practical VIII Modelling spatiotemporal dynamics
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Placement Study Abroad Hours 20, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment for this course is in three parts:
1 Biofuels project (40%)
Deadline 9.00am Thurs 10 Nov (wk 8).

2 Computer based assignment: using GIS for visualisation modelling (40%)
Deadline 9.00am Thurs 1 Dec (wk 11)

3 Exam question (answer one question from a choice of 4) (20%)
Date set by Registry but some time in Wk 12-13.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)1:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of the components and range of methods which make up a geographical information systems and understand the importance of data modelling in the storage of geographical data within database systems.
  2. learn how spatial data are acquired and appreciate the functionality of GIS software, including basic expertise in analysis, classification, query, and integration of vector and raster data and visualisation.
  3. . apply appropriate cartographic principles in the construction of maps and develop an integrated practical project, drawing on appropriate source data, providing sensible analysis, output and drawing appropriate conclusions.
  4. understand the utility of GIS in the context of archaeological study including impact of viewshed analysis upon habitation patterns; digital elevation modelling and farming practice, land use modelling and cost path analysis.
  5. demonstrate an understanding of landscape archaeology and how GIS is applied at a range of scales, from intrasite studies to regional analysis.
Reading List
Bevan, A. 2012. Spatial methods for analysing large-scale artefact inventories. Antiquity: A Quarterly Review of Archaeology, 86(332), 492¿506.
Bevan, A. & Lake, M. 2013. Computational Approaches to Archaeological Spaces, Left Coast Press.
Conolly, J. & Lake, M. 2006. Geographical information systems in archaeology. Cambridge University Press.
Gillings, M. 2001." Spatial information and archaeology". In Brothwell, D. R., and Pollard, A. M. (eds.), Handbook of Archaeological Sciences, Wiley, New York, 663¿670.
McCoy, M. D. & Ladefoged, T. N.. "New developments in the use of spatial technology in archaeology." Journal of Archaeological Research 17.3, 263-295.
Murrieta-Flores, P. 2012. "Understanding human movement through spatial technologies. The role of natural areas of transit in the Late Prehistory of South-western Iberia." Trabajos de Prehistoria 69.1, 103-122.
Turner S. & Crow, J. 2010 Unlocking historic landscapes in the Eastern Mediterranean: two pilot studies using Historic Landscape Characterisation, Antiquity: A Quarterly Review of Archaeology 84, 216¿229
Yubero-Gómez, M.; Rubio-Campillo, X. & López-Cachero, J. 2015. "The study of spatiotemporal patterns integrating temporal uncertainty in late prehistoric settlements in northeastern Spain." Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 1-14.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Project work, problem solving, communication of ideas, research design.
KeywordsPGGE11181 GIS,Computer modelling,archaeology
Course organiserDr Xavier Rubio-Campillo
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMrs Karolina Galera
Tel: (0131 6)50 2572
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