(University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Keywords: Archaeology GIS 3D Dorestad

In this paper we will present our approach to elaborate analogue archaeological data using digital archaeological techniques. One excavation trench measuring 40 x 20 meters on the site
of the early medieval emporium Dorestad was used as a case study. Dorestad consisted of a harbor and trading area, a rural area and several cemeteries.It was located in the central part of the Netherlands on the banks of the river Rhine. The site was excavated from the late 60s onwards and remains one of the largest archaeological excavations in the Netherlands. So far, large parts of the excavation have never been published. In the present study, a small part of the unpublished documentation was used as a case study to evaluate a method combining the old analogue documentation with digital archaeological techniques. Analogue field sketches were studied in detail and digitalized in a two dimensional GIS environment. First, all individual archaeological features like postholes, ditches, pits and graves were drawn. After digitalizing the individual features a database was created by adding information on character, shape, size and depth to the features.Next, the results were translated into a pseudo-3D environment after which the data could be analyzed. Different queries were formulated to get an overview of all features making it possible to recognize structures like buildings, walls and fences. Last, based on the pseudo-3D GIS, time as a fourth dimension was added by observing different phases in the construction of structures. By using this method it became possible to interpret and visualize parts of the old excavation data of Dorestad.