(MBB, The Netherlands)

Abstract: How do you start a city-excavation when all of the previous excavations have not been analyzed What do you do when everybody from the previous city-excavations are dead and the only living witness is a demented eighty-nine  year old man. So you start cataloguing the material of the previous excavations and the only things that have been preserved are the drawings, the finds and an incomplete find number list. There is sparse information about the location of the old excavations based on old topography that does not exist anymore and is not immediately traceable on the new topography.   So you have only incorrect information of the old excavations and no correlation whatsoever. Yet Aardenburg was one of the most important coastal Roman frontier towns of the second century AD, which has luxury stone structures, houses etc. On the periods proceeding and following the Roman period nothing was known. Did they exist or not. This was the challenge my partner and I faced.
This paper shows how we used new and old techniques to disclose and analyze de different old excavations. Using computers techniques like cad and GIS all the old material was digitized. Essentially re-excavating and translating every old excavation into a workable framework and looking for clues was the first step. The second step was to reexamine the old topography and finding links to the clues left on the original excavation data. The final step was to place every excavation on its location. The result is now available and finally the real and total story of Aardenburg can be told, and can be used for further excavations in the town itself.

Keywords: City excavation, data without correlation, digital solutions