Organisers: Ann DEGRAEVE, Belgium | Irmela HERZOG, Germany

Archaeology and History differ in the carriers of information analysed: one has earth, pottery, walls, seeds etc., the other has written documents, engravings, drawings, maps, etc. – and they therefore often complement each other when it comes to telling the story of a Medieval settlement, a harbour, a long distance trade route and many other cultural heritage sites.
Computer science technologies like GIS allow combining historical and archaeological information thereby offering a real added value to the research of our past. Often a historian’s expertise is needed to interpret a historical map or document properly, and many ICT approaches used in archaeology can also be applied to analyse historical data.
Sometimes, historical records like documents on ship wrecks allow predicting locations of archaeological sites. Zones of probably undisturbed archaeological features may be identified by comparing modern and historical maps of a Medieval town centre. Many digital tools that are popular in archaeological research can also be applied for analysing historical data: For instance, least-cost path calculations generate probable route locations for routes depicted on an itinerarium or distorted historical maps; network analysis results of trade interactions based on site locations with similar artefacts can be compared to those based on historical data like shipping records. Often, historical data allow the assessment of the accuracy of digital tools used by archaeologists: For instance, a complete record of settlement locations on a historical map may form the basis for an evaluation of predictive modelling techniques.

This round table is about how digital tools can bring historical and archaeological data closer to each other for scientific and educational purposes. Short presentations (6 minutes) are welcomed in the areas outlined above, as well as any other case studies focusing on digital tools integrating historical and archaeological data.

For papers on 3D reconstructions based on historical data please refer to the session “3D reconstruction as an interpretative melting pot of the (art-)historical data”.