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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: GIS and Spatial Analysis for Archaeologists (PGHC11460)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the use of Geographical Information Systems in archaeology. It will provide a global perspective of current applications covering data acquisition, spatial analysis and cartographic visualization. Students will become proficient users of the open source platforms Quantum GIS and R while developing critical skills on the use of GIS within archaeological projects.
Course description The course will explore the key theoretical, methodological and technical aspects of archaeological GIS. Through a mixture of lectures, practicals, in-class discussions, and projects the students will learn to identify and interpret the spatial patterns found in the archaeological record using a multiscale perspective (from sites to regions). They will also become aware of the potentials and limitations of GIS specifically linked to the study of the past, including topics such as time and uncertainty.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. Short report (20%)
The students will have to replicate the results of a published research paper. This will be complemented by an oral presentation of the paper to the rest of the class.

2. Case study report (30%)
A first guided project will be focused on using GIS to build and solve a specific research question

3. GIS research project (50%)
The second project will be much more open to creative reasoning. Three research projects will be offered including a set of research questions, a dataset and some guidelines. The student will apply the methods learned to explore one of them.
Feedback Students will receive verbal feedback during each practical and written feedback for the assessments following standard Learn procedure. They will also have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during his published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate the ability to create and manage a GIS project integrating archaeological and geographical data;
  2. demonstrate the ability to understand and critically analyse current applications of GIS in archaeology;
  3. demonstrate the ability to apply a wide range of methods to identify spatial patterns in archaeological data;
  4. demonstrate critical understanding of the issues surrounding the investigation, interpretation and display of spatial dynamics and their links to social behavior;
  5. demonstrate knowledge on the uses of GIS within wider archaeological contexts.
Reading List
Bevan, A. (2012). "Spatial methods for analysing largescale artefact inventories." Antiquity: A Quarterly Review of Archaeology, 86(332), 492-506.

Bevan, A., & Lake, M. (2013). Computational approaches to archaeological spaces (Vol. 60). Left Coast Press.

Conolly, J., & Lake, M. (2006). Geographical information systems in archaeology. Cambridge University Press.

Güimil-Fariña, A., & Parcero-Oubiña, C. (2015). "'Dotting the joins': a non-reconstructive use of Least Cost Paths to approach ancient roads. The case of the Roman roads in the NW Iberian Peninsula." Journal of Archaeological Science, 54, 31-44.

Llobera, M. (2001). "Building past landscape perception with GIS: Understanding topographic prominence." Journal of Archaeological Science, 28(9), 1005-1014.

Llobera, M. (2003). "Extending GIS-based visual analysis: the concept of visualscapes." International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 17(1), 25-48.

Llobera, M., Fábrega-Álvarez, P., & Parcero-Oubiña, C. (2011). "Order in movement: a GIS approach to accessibility." Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(4), 843-851.

McKeague, P., Corns, A., & Shaw, R. (2012). "Developing a spatial data infrastructure for archaeological and built heritage." International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research, 7, 38-65.

Ullah, I. I. T. (2011). "A GIS method for assessing the zone of human-environmental impact around archaeological sites: a test case from the Late Neolithic of Wadi Ziqlâb, Jordan." Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(3), 623-632.

Wheatley, D. (1995). "Cumulative viewshed analysis: a GIS-based method for investigating intervisibility, and its archaeological application." Archaeology and GIS: A European Perspective. London: Routledge, 171-86.

Yubero-Gómez, M., Rubio-Campillo, X., López-Cachero, F. J., & Esteve-Gràcia, X. (2015). "Mapping changes in late prehistoric landscapes: a case study in the Northeastern Iberian Peninsula." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 40, 123-134.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
- gather, integrate and critically assess relevant information
- extract key elements and meanings from complex data sets
- answer a research question by developing a reasoned argument based on quantitative analysis
- present their ideas and analyses in a coherent fashion
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Xavier Rubio-Campillo
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
Course secretaryMiss Danielle Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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