(University of Vienna, Department of Classical Archaeology, Vienna, Austria)

Keywords: digital archaeology, roman archaeology, excavation, master thesis

The presented thesis deals with the topic of digitalization in the humanities and has a clear focus on digital archaeology. Within this methodological and theoretical framework and as a case study, the implementation of various digital archaeological methods is tested in course of a modern archaeological research and training excavation at “Molino San Vincenzo” in Tuscany/Italy. The site is located on farmland in the Pesa valley near Florence and Empoli in the municipality of Montespertoli and has been seriously damaged by modern plowing. However, various archaeological structures were clearly identified by different invasive and non-invasive investigations. The material culture can be interpreted as remnants of an ancient medium-sized settlement. Since 2012, the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Vienna studies the site archaeologically.
Digital archaeology at the site of Molino San Vincenzo is mainly based on the intense use and combination of different methods, like (nearly) fully digitized and GIS-based excavation workflows, enhanced metadata recording of the excavation process using video documentation, and a science to science/public data dissemination concept considering social media, open access, and long term data archiving. These diverse concepts of gathering, managing, and presenting digital archaeological data are critically evaluated in course of the thesis. Therefore, the lecture tries to question the relevance and (dis)advantages of integrating digital archaeology in today’s field research in practice and theory. The talk takes the significant quantitative (and qualitative?) increase of digital data into account and considers special aspects like the usefulness of paperless fieldwork, time- and cost-efficiency of digital documentation tools, storage space requirements, and archaeological information quality.
All in all, the lecture wants to evaluate the possibilities as well as the limits of state-of-the-art computing in archaeology and the role it plays in gaining archaeological knowledge.

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
The presented thesis deals with the integration of digital archaeology into an archaeological research and training excavation.

Several different state-of-the-art digital-archaeological methods are combined and critically evaluated at an archaeological excavation.


1.      C. H. Roosevelt, P. Cobb, E. Moss, B. R. Olson & S. Ünlüsoy, Excavation is (Destruction) Digitization: Advances in Archaeological Practice, Journal Of Field Archaeology 40/3, 2015,
2.      G. Schörner, D. Hagmann & V. Schreck, Die site Molino San Vincenzo, Archäologie Österreichs 26/2, 2015, 56-59,