A. Degraeve / C. Ortigosa

(Archéologue – Attachée Ministère de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Direction des Monuments et Sites Cellule Archéologie, Bruxelles, Belgium)

Fourteen years of archaeological excavation in the Brussels Capital Region illustrate an inevitable evolution from the handmade drawing to the integration of the newest technological developments. The overall rapid hi-tech progression projected us in recent years into the use of the latest technologies as well during fieldwork as throughout the preparation of the various publications. While the pressure for only using various digital techniques is obviously present, we deliberately chose for a combination of traditional methods with modern technology. Indeed, archaeological work is based on observation: the “relative” slowness of the manual drawing allows the necessary analysis and comprehension of the stratigraphy or the object, which a direct digitalisation cannot offer.
Therefore, pencil drawing is still favoured in the field, though combined with the use of a total station. The archaeological objects will be first traditionally drawn before digitalisation. For the archaeological publications (Archéologie à Bruxelles and Atlas du sous-sol archéologique de la Région de Bruxelles) the drawings of the objects, the archaeological and cadastral plans, both ancient and recent, and the geological, topographical and geotechnological maps are digitally transformed using various software packages.
In addition, a comprehensive database has been created containing all information regarding the excavations, such as archaeological site information, stratigraphic units, objects, restoration, analyses, and location in the archaeological depot, allowing thus scientific research parallel to depot management.
Future projects include a 3D digitalised model of the 1st city wall, combining the traditional archaeological information with modern technology and iconographical sources (co-operation with the Free Brussels University – Information and Decision Systems). The information thus obtained forms the next step in a better understanding of the Brussels urban evolution.